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 PRESS RELEASE:  April 5, 2006  

Walden Statement on House Agriculture Committee Passage of Forest Recovery Legislation                                                                                                                                                                                                      
Washington, DC - U.S. Congressman Greg Walden (R-OR) issued the following statement after the House Agriculture Committee today overwhelmingly passed the Forest Emergency Recovery and Research Act by a bipartisan vote of 36-3.  Walden wrote the bill, H.R. 4200, with Congressman Brian Baird (D-WA) and Stephanie Herseth (D-SD) to give federal land managers the authority to - if necessary - act more rapidly after a catastrophic event damages national forests.  H.R. 4200 does not mandate any specific action, but does allow for quicker timelines for the harvest of burned, dead trees if forest managers on the ground deem this to be the best course of action and such harvest is allowed under a forest's existing forest plan. 

"This common-sense, bipartisan bill has earned strong support from a wide variety of organizations throughout the nation, including the 15,000-member Society of American Foresters, for its responsible approach to managing federal forestlands damaged by catastrophic events. The Forest Emergency Recovery and Research Act would allow our talented federal land managers to have the same tools states, counties, tribes and private landowners have at their disposal to improve and restore the health of our national forests.  

"I appreciate the overwhelming support shown by the House Agriculture Committee for this bill through their vote today and I look forward to working with my colleagues as we bring H.R. 4200 before the full House."

H.R. 4200 was passed by a nearly two to one margin last week by the House Resources Committee with strong bipartisan support; the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee also has jurisdiction over the bill, but may choose to waive that jurisdiction, sending the bill to the House Floor subject to scheduling by the House Majority Leader.  More information on the Forest Emergency Recovery and Research Act can be found at www.walden.house.gov or http://thomas.loc.gov.

Walden represents Oregon's Second District which is more than 70,000 square miles of eastern, central and southern Oregon and includes nine national forests

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