U.S. Senator Steve Daines, Chairman of the Senate Western Caucus, today led a group of his Senate Republican colleagues in pressing the Biden administration on the implications of Biden’s Executive Order titled “Strengthening the Nation’s Forests, Communities, and Local Economies”, which diverts resources from actual conservation work and sets the stage for further restrictions and prohibitions on public lands.

“On April 22, 2022 President Biden issued an Executive Order entitled ‘Strengthening the Nation’s Forests, Communities, and Local Economies.’ While the rhetoric of the Executive Order focused on climate change, resilient forests and ecosystems, the order directs federal agencies to create an ‘old-growth’ and ‘mature’ tree stand inventory on Federal lands and develop subsequent protective regulations, despite the absence of a legal definition or, for that matter, a universal definition for these terms and an abundance of existing protective regulations for ‘old-growth,’” the Senators wrote.

“…We are concerned that any national or even regional definition of ‘old-growth’ or ‘mature’ trees, cannot possibly encompass this broad array of forest types in a meaningful way. By failing to acknowledge the role and need of increased management prescriptions, the order also fails to recognize the complexities of forest ecosystems, carbon cycles, and the carbon stored in forests and wood products. Furthermore, the Executive Order will divert limited time, staff, and away from aggressively utilizing the numerous management tools Congress has provided the Forest Service in recent years and implementing Department’s stated goal of “dramatically increasing fuels and forest health treatments” to instead create redundant analysis and more bureaucracy that is bound to tie the hands of land managers down the road,” the letter continues.

Read the letter Daines sent to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack HERE.

Senators John Thune (S.D.), John Barrasso (Wyo.), John Boozman (Ark.), Jim Risch (Idaho), Mike Crapo (Idaho), Cynthia Lummis (Wyo.), Mike Rounds (S.D.) and Roger Marshall (Kan.) joined Daines in sending the letter.

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