Arkansas Forestry Receives National Attention

September 6, 2019
Weekly Columns

As Congress’s August recess concludes, I’ve had the opportunity to wrap up some much-needed time in the district with a week of forestry meetings. Both Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and U.S. Forest Service (USFS) Chief Vicki Christiansen visited Arkansas this week, and their time in the Natural State highlighted the importance of forest management.

First, Secretary Perdue and I met with the Arkansas Poultry Federation, and then the Secretary joined Governor Asa Hutchinson to sign a Shared Stewardship Agreement. Arkansas became the first southern state to sign one of these agreements, and it ensures that the USFS will further support and preserve forest resources across the state. Shared Stewardship Agreements give forest managers the necessary tools to oversee their land, as well as increase the scope and scale of forest treatments. At the same time, these managers provide valuable input to USFS regarding the effectiveness and long-term sustainability of these projects. It’s a symbiotic relationship that I was able to witness firsthand, and I hope it paves the way for future collaborations.

Later in the week, USFS Chief Christiansen toured the Fourth District with me. We were able to visit several key outdoor recreation, conservation and natural resource sites, including Albert Pike recreational area and Avant Mining. Chief Christiansen has done such important work in resource management and science-based forestry, and I was glad to have the opportunity to show her around. Local insight on national issues is crucial as we discuss the best ways to steward our vast resources.

It’s been a productive August in Arkansas, but soon I’ll be heading back to D.C. to start the fall session of Congress. I’m looking forward to continuing to legislate on your behalf.