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For Immediate Release
March 15, 2004

Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) Named Chairman of the Subcommittee on Forests and Forest Health

Washington, DC - House Committee on Resources Chairman Richard W. Pombo (R-CA) named Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) as the Chair of the Subcommittee on Forests and Forest Health following the resignation of Rep. Scott McInnis (R-CO).

"It is with deep regret that I have accepted the resignation of Scott McInnis as the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Forests and Forest Health," Chairman Pombo said. "Under Scott's leadership, the Committee on Resources forged a historic healthy forest initiative. The immediate and long-term effect of this plan makes America safer from the threat of catastrophic wildfires and helps to produce stronger, more vibrant public forests. I thank him for his outstanding service to our Committee and to the Nation."

Chairman Pombo based his choice for the new Forest Subcommittee chair on six factors: 1) the demonstrated interest and knowledge of the Member in subject matter handled by the Subcommittee; 2) a commitment to attend and conduct field hearings and investigations; 3) the Member's legislative activity within the Committee; 4) an ability to act as an effective communicator on forestry issues; 5) the importance of the issues within the Subcommittee's jurisdiction to the Member's district; and 6) the recommendation of the former Subcommittee Chairman. Given these factors, along with the fact that the second district of Oregon hosts 11 national forests created from the public domain, Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) was selected for this Subcommittee chairmanship.

"While Mr. McInnis will be sorely missed, I can think of no better replacement than the co-author of the Healthy Forests Restoration Act, Congressman Greg Walden. (R-OR)," Chairman Pombo continued. "His work ethic and expertise in national forests management policy are second to none, as he so-clearly demonstrated during the Healthy Forests negotiations. In fact, I do not believe that critical legislation would be law today if I didn't have Greg's help every step of the way. So it is with much gratitude and confidence that I hand the Forest Subcommittee gavel to Congressman Walden. He certainly earned it."

Walden said, "It's hard to overstate how important forestry policy is to the people of Oregon and the Pacific Northwest. I'm grateful to Chairman Pombo and Subcommittee Chairman McInnis for this opportunity, and I look forward to building on the leadership they've demonstrated in making historic reforms to our nation's forestry policy. As the representative of a district that includes 11 national forests, few issues are as important to me as ensuring the sound management of America's forestlands. I was proud to have helped lead the effort to pass the Healthy Forests Restoration Act last year, but much work remains to be done before we can eliminate the combined threats of catastrophic wildfire, insect infestation and disease that face our forests."

Said McInnis, "It has been a great honor to serve as the Chairman of the Resources Subcommittee on Forests and Forest Health, but as I announced to my constituents in Colorado last week, the time has come for me to begin the transition of coming home. It's time to pass the torch on, and I cannot think of a better or more qualified member to chair the forests subcommittee than my good friend, Greg Walden. I would also like to thank my colleagues and Chairman Pombo for their support and guidance over the years. It has been my privilege to have worked alongside these dedicated leaders."




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