California Counties urge national forest management reform
SACRAMENTO — The Rural County Representatives of California (RCRC) and the California State Association of Counties (CSAC) announced their joint support for the enactment of legislation to better manage California’s national forests.
“The growing bipartisan recognition that Congress must address proper management of our nation’s forests illustrates the need to enact healthy forest legislation in 2014,” said Kevin Cann, RCRC chair and Mariposa County supervisor. “The recent wildfires on U.S. Forest Service lands clearly demonstrate the results if Congress fails to act.”
Two weeks ago, RCRC and CSAC authored a joint letter to the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources urging the creation of bipartisan legislation related to forest management reform. Earlier this year, the U.S. House of Representatives approved H.R. 1526 to provide a mechanism for better management of our federal forests; however, most congressional observers believe that legislation will not be considered in the U.S. Senate.
“The health of our forests, the safety of our rural communities, and California’s natural resources are threatened by the current condition of our national forests,” said David Finigan, CSAC president and Del Norte County supervisor. “It is crucial that all of California’s forested counties experience a reform in the management of the forests to minimize fire threats, ensure a proper balance of animal life and vegetation, protect recreational opportunities and help rural communities return to economic vitality.”
RCRC and CSAC argue that while components of the House of Representatives-approved legislation may not be acceptable to the majority of the Senate, reforms can be adopted to address active management, streamline environmental laws, and revise the U.S. Forest Service’s day-to-day approach to managing our forests.
The RCRC/CSAC joint letter to the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources can be accessed at rcrcnet.org/rcrc/assets/File/Barbed_Wire_November_01_2013/Joint_ForestMgtLetter.pdf.
The Rural County Representatives of California is a 33-member county strong service organization that champions policies on behalf of California’s rural counties. The RCRC is dedicated to representing the collective unique interests of its membership, providing legislative and regulatory representation at the State and Federal levels, and providing responsible services for its members to enhance and protect the quality of life in rural California counties. To learn more about RCRC, visit rcrcnet.org.
The California State Association of Counties is the voice of California’s 58 counties at the state and federal level.