Congressman Tom McClintock

Representing the 4th District of California

Resilient Federal Forests Act

July 9, 2015
Press Release

Congressman McClintock is a co-author of H.R. 2647 (Westerman), the Resilient Federal Forests Act. The legislation was approved by the House on July 9, 2015.  The bill next goes to the Senate. Congressman McClintock delivered the following House floor debate remarks in support of the measure:

Resilient Federal Forests Act
July 9, 2015

    Excess timber comes out of the forest one way or the other.  It is either carried out or it is burned out. 

    When we carried it out, we had healthy forests and a thriving economy.

    We managed our National Forests according to well-established and time-tested forest management practices that prevented vegetation and wildlife from overgrowing the ability of the land to support it.  Revenues from the sale of excess timber provided for prosperous local economies and a steady stream of revenues to the treasury which could, in turn, be used to further improve the public lands.

    But 40 years ago, in the name of saving the environment, we consigned our national forests to a policy of benign neglect.     

    The results are all around us today: impoverished mountain communities and a devastated environment.

    Our forests are now dangerously overgrown.  Trees that once had room to grow and thrive now fight for their lives in competition with other trees from the same ground.  In this distressed condition, they fall victim to pestilence, disease and catastrophic wildfire.

    We can’t even salvage dead timber any more. 

      This legislation is the first step back toward sound, scientific management of our national forests.  It streamlines fire and disease prevention programs; it expedites restoration of fire-damaged lands; it protects forest managers from frivolous lawsuits. And it does so without requiring new regulations, rules, planning or mapping.  

    The management of the public lands is OUR responsibility.  The bromides of the environmental left have proven disastrous to the health of our forests, the preservation of our wildlife, and the welfare of our mountain communities.  

    This bill begins to reverse this damage and to usher in a new era of healthy and resilient forests and an economic renaissance for our mountain towns.

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