FORECON is honored to be associated with the Forest Landowners Association, a national association that promotes the benefits that privately-owned forestlands contribute to society. Every year, board members of the FLA meet in Washington, D.C. to discuss the current areas of concern that forest landowners across the country have and the challenges they face in keeping their forests intact and maximally productive. FLA meeting attendees discuss these topics with their congressional representatives on Capitol Hill, educating them on what is affecting or of interest to a very important part of their constituency. This year’s meeting was from February 6-8, and had a very robust turnout, with many successful visits made with those who formulate the laws, rules and regulations that impact private forest landownership.
We are happy to directly participate in this event, and want to share with you the main themes of discussion we had with our various congressmen and senators during our 2017 Hill visits. Following are the main talking points we discussed in hopes to both educate and influence our representatives to act on behalf of the benefit of the private forest landowner – those who supply most of the country’s clean air, water, wildlife habitat, and recreational opportunities.
- America’s forest landowners are proud of their legacy of providing the filtration infrastructure for the nation’s clean water and clean air along with providing habitat for the nation’s miraculous wildlife restoration and recovery. However, their ability to continue to provide these benefits to society and nature is at risk if they aren’t economically viable.
- America’s sustainably-managed working forests provide long-term economic benefits to society; they provide more than 2.4 million jobs in the U.S.; their payroll is more than $87 billion per year; they produce $233 billion in annual sales; and they account for 5.7 percent of total U.S. manufacturing.
- We all want to protect trees. The men, women, families and companies that own much of America’s forest land are committed to protecting these natural resources. Properly thinning, harvesting and replanting timberland in a sustainable manner helps protect forests for future generations.
- America’s working forests provide many environmental benefits; more than a quarter of America’s water is filtered by private forests; 60% of America’s at-risk wildlife relies on private forests; private forests contain more than 40% of the U.S. distribution of 152 forest bird species; we support reasonable regulation that protects forests and wildlife while keeping landowners economically viable. After all, if those who protect the forests are not viable, neither is the habitat that wildlife relies on.
- How working forests are managed is a key contributor to America’s economic vitality. Open access to secure, global markets helps us keep America’s forests healthy.
- Forest landowners support reasonable regulation that protects forests and wildlife while keeping landowners economically viable. Again, if those who protect the forests are not viable, neither is the habitat that wildlife relies on.
(Source: Forest Landowners Association, 2017)
Resources on Private Family Forests
For more information on the legislative issues that impact family forest landowners, visit www.forestamerica and click on the icons below.