Republican News

Jul 24 2003

DOMENICI, CRAIG PRIORITIES INCLUDED IN FOREST BILL MARKED UP TODAY BY AG COMMITTEE

THE SENATORS CALL FOR SWIFT FLOOR ACTION ON BILL

Washington, D.C. – Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Pete Domenici and Public Lands and Forest Health Subcommittee Chairman Larry Craig today called for swift Senate consideration of legislation aimed at addressing growing crisis of fire and disease in American forests. The two senators commended Agriculture Chairman Thad Cochran for fully including their legislative priorities in his Chairman’s Mark of H.R. 1904, healthy forest legislation marked up today by the Agriculture Committee. Domenici’s statement: “My committee held a hearing earlier this week on the growing crisis of fire and disease in our national forests. Governors, county officials and citizens reiterated their plea for more federal help to save our forests. I have been working closely with Chairman Cochran to include my healthy forest priorities in the bill being marked up by his committee today. “The bill includes my language that allows foresters to focus on invasive species like Salt Cedar when treating highly-flammable forests. The overwhelming presence of Salt Cedar in New Mexico fueled the devastating Bosque fire this month. “I also inserted language into the bill to create public land corps to work on hazardous fuel reduction and forest beautification projects. These corps would include the already-existing federal youth conservation corps as well as Native American, state and locally-organized groups. This provides work for our young people and saves our forests. I commend Chairman Cochran for his excellent work on this bill. It reflects the President’s vision for Healthy Forests and well as the urgent priorities of governors and rural America.” Senator Craig’s statement: “I appreciate Senator Cochran’s commitment to forest health – an issue that stretches across the country affecting all of us; from fires in the West to bug infestations in the East. I have been consulting with the Agriculture Committee to ensure that responsible, significant and bipartisan forest health legislation is able to pass the committee and the full Senate this year. Millions of acres of forests and rangelands are in critical condition and we must act now before we lose even more.”