Thursday, February 26, 2004

For Immediate Release

Walden Given Waiver to Serve on Forest Health Subcommittee

Resources Subcommittee on Forests and Forest Health responsible for crafting national forestry policy

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Congressman Greg Walden (R-OR) has received a special waiver from the Speaker of the House to serve on the Resources Subcommittee on Forests and Forest Health. The waiver was necessary to bypass a rule that typically forbids members of the House from serving on more than four subcommittees. Walden currently serves on the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigation, the Subcommittee on Energy and Air Quality and the Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, as well as the Resources Subcommittee on Water and Power.

"This assignment will provide a tremendous opportunity to advocate on behalf of real improvements to forest health, an issue of great concern to the Oregonians I represent," said Walden. "We scored a tremendous victory with last year’s passage of the Healthy Forests Restoration Act, but much work remains in implementing this historic bill and making further improvements to the health of our forests across the country. I am eager to begin work on the Forests and Forest Health Subcommittee, and I appreciate the confidence Chairman Pombo and Chairman McInnis have expressed in naming me to this post."

Resources Committee Chairman Richard Pombo (R-CA) praised Walden’s work on forestry issues and welcomed him to the Forests and Forest Health Subcommittee.

"Congressman Walden has had an extensive role in forestry issues in Congress, including co-authoring the historic Healthy Forests Restoration Act that passed last year," said Pombo. "I know that he will be an active and constructive contributor to the Subcommittee on Forests and Forest Health."

Forests and Forest Health Subcommittee Chairman Scott McInnis (R-CO), who joined Walden in co-authoring the Healthy Forests Restoration Act, echoed Pombo’s remarks.

"Greg Walden is a man of great integrity who was instrumental in the writing and passing of the Healthy Forests Restoration Act, one of the most significant reforms in forest management policy in a century," said McInnis. "His experience and leadership on forest health issues will be a great asset to the subcommittee."

The waiver to sit on the Forest Health Subcommittee is Walden’s second committee assignment waiver. His first was granted to allow him to serve on both the Committee on Energy and Commerce and the Committee on Resources. House members who serve on one of the four "A-list" committees – Energy and Commerce, Ways and Means, Appropriations and Rules – are generally prohibited from sitting on another committee. Walden requested a waiver to serve on the Resources Committee because of the importance of natural resource issues to Oregon and the Pacific Northwest.

Congressman Walden represents the Second Congressional District of Oregon, which includes 20 counties in southern, central and eastern Oregon. He is a member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce as well as the Committee on Resources.