By Rex Storm,
Associated Oregon Loggers, Inc.
Will Forestry Reforms Happen Under Trump Administration? The Jan. 20th inauguration of President Trump has many expectations from the forest community. Will the new Administration address needed changes for the US Forest Service, BLM, and broken federal environmental regulating agencies? Will the Environmental Protection Agency reform its wrong-headed attacks on Oregon’s Forest Practices Act, private industry, and energy production?
Although Pres. Trump’s team is still being built, it’s the Departments of Agriculture, Interior, Commerce, Labor, and EPA that have a significant impact on the forest sector. The new administration should have a positive effect on the agencies and their ineffective policies, but it takes time. Maybe four years, for real gains to be enacted. The slow movement is the design of federal government. However, the new administration can make ready improvements in a few ways that can help Oregon. Begin by fixing a few small policies that would increase national forest and BLM harvest to simply meet current plans. And then, expedite the task of rewriting the obstructive forest plans, which would provide the needed legal sufficiency and certainty for greater future federal forest harvest.
Agriculture Secretary Perdue: Former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue was nominated by President Trump to become Secretary of Agriculture, an important cabinet member who oversees the 193 million acres of national forests managed by the US Forest Service. Perdue appreciates an economically viable forest products industry, as Georgia is the nation’s third largest softwood lumber producer (behind OR & WA), and the 6th largest softwood plywood producer. Perdue, a former Democrat, became a Republican to govern Georgia from 2003 to 2011. Farm-raised, he earned a veterinary medicine PhD, and is known for his conservative resource and business policy.
White House Asked about Logging: Portland radio talk show host, Lars Larson, inquired about President Trump’s national forest policy, via Skype at the White House daily press briefing Feb. 1st. Larson asked White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, “The federal government is the biggest landlord in America…Can the Pres. tell the Forest Service to start logging our forests aggressively again to provide jobs for Americans, wealth for the treasury; and also not spend $3.5 billion a year fighting forest fires?” Spicer answered Trump has been “very clear” that, “We’ve got to utilize the resources the federal government owns, whether that’s the forest or natural resources or minerals…”
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