Oregon Forester Participates in White House Rural Economic Forum
— Investment in sustainable federal forestry needed for economic growth
American Forest Resource Council
Peosta, Iowa – Tom Partin, President of the American Forest Resource Council, participated in President Obama’s August 16 Rural Economic Forum at Northeast Iowa Community College.
Partin emphasized “the federal timber sale program is the single most efficient way of putting people back to work in the rural counties around our national forests. Plus, it will improve the health of our forests and reduce the potential for catastrophic forest fires.”
Partin pointed to statistics from the University of Massachusetts Political Economy and Research Institute showing that every $1 million invested in sustainable forest management leads to the creation of 17.55 direct, 12.95 indirect and 9.2 induced jobs, far more than any other sector of the economy.
Partin participated in breakout sessions with Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality and Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar which focused on expanding opportunities through conservation, outdoor recreation and tourism. Partin noted that forest management is an essential part of resource conservation and prevention of catastrophic wildfires. “Sustainable management of our national forests has provided family wage jobs for decades,” Partin observed.
Partin pointed to this year’s Wallow Fire in Arizona, which burned over 530,000 acres and cost over $109 million to control, as an example. “Investing in forest management before a fire occurs not only helps reduce the potential for catastrophic fires, it puts people to work in rural America, produces American wood products, strengthens local economies, and saves the cost of fighting catastrophic fires,” Partin said.
Partin serves as Vice Chair of the Federal Forest Resource Coalition, a national trade group headquartered in Washington, D.C., which promotes active management of our federal forest lands and the preservation of the milling and logging infrastructure needed to restore forest health and provide rural community stability.
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