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 PRESS RELEASE: Congressman Walden 11/14/05

Former Oregon State Forester Endorses Forest Emergency Recovery and Research Act

Jim Brown, state forester under four Oregon governors and Kulongoski's natural resource policy director, says H.R. 4200 would restore "common sense" to forest management

Salem, OR - The Oregon Department of Forestry's top official under Governors Goldschmidt, Roberts, Kitzhaber and Kulongoski has announced his support for H.R. 4200, the Forest Emergency Recovery and Research Act, introduced earlier this month by U.S. Congressmen Greg Walden (R-OR) and Brian Baird (D-WA).  This bipartisan legislation gives federal land managers tools and authorities to take action to recover forests damaged by catastrophic events more rapidly than current process allows.

In a guest opinion printed today in The Oregonian, Jim Brown - Oregon's state forester for 16 years, past-president of the National Association of State Foresters and Governor Ted Kulongoski's former policy director for national resources - wrote that the Forest Emergency Recovery and Research Act "will restore a common sense approach to restoring forests and their multiple values destroyed by catastrophic events" and "will provide federal land managers the resources and tools to ensure future generations will also enjoy resilient green forests. 

"Jim Brown has extensive, firsthand experience in forest management from his 36-year career with the Oregon Department of Forestry, and he has deep insight into the needs of forests damaged by wildfire," said Walden, who chairs the House Subcommittee on Forests and Forest Health.  "The Forest Emergency Recovery and Research Act would allow professional land mangers to restore the health of forests damaged by catastrophic events in a timely and responsible manner, while adhering to existing environmental law and without compromising the public's ability to participate in the planning process."

In his piece, Brown uses the example of the Tillamook Burn, an area covering hundreds of thousands of acres in northwest Oregon ravaged by catastrophic wildfire in the early decades of the 1900s.  Local counties and the State of Oregon took proactive measures to restore forest health and recover economic value from trees killed by the fires.  Today, the Tillamook State Forest is a diverse ecosystem providing recreation, timber and clean water for human use and habitat for species, including some protected under the Endangered Species Act. 

"Jim has a keen understanding of how legislative policy can impact forest and community health, and I appreciate his support for our common sense legislation," added Walden.  

A full copy of Brown's statement can be found at www.walden.house.gov/issues/forestrecovery

Walden, 48, represents the people of Oregon's Second District which is more than 70,000 square miles of eastern, central and southern Oregon and includes nine national forests.  He was one of the original authors of the successful Healthy Forest Restoration Act which provides federal land managers with a quicker system to reduce the threat of fires around communities and throughout forests.





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