USDA issued a press statement on their efforts to create jobs in the forest sector. Federal Forest Resource Coalition (FFRC) executive director Bill Imbergamo issued the following statement:
"We applaud the Forest Service for their efforts to increase timber outputs from the National Forest System. As this spring and summer's fires have demonstrated, these forests need to be managed, and that management can produce valuable timber to help keep hardworking sawmill, paper mill, and biomass energy workers employed.
We're concerned, however, that Chief Tidwell and Secretary Vilsack appear minimize the role that our sawmills and paper plants play in keeping our forests healthy. The National Forest System is accumulating dead and dying trees at an alarming rate, with growth exceeding harvest by a ratio of almost 6 to 1. With over 40 million acres infested with bark beetles and other pests, our 650+ member companies can provide jobs while restoring forest health.
We hope the Forest Service will not become so distracted trying to build a new - and uncertain - biomass economy that they will let their existing customers and our 350,000 jobs die for lack of timber."
For more information please visit the US Department of Agriculture.