WORKING FOREST CAUCUSES
In recent years both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate have formed bipartisan caucuses to pursue common legislative objectives relating to privately owned forests.
The House of Representatives’ Working Forest Caucus was formed in 2016 by two Democrats and two Republicans. A founder and graduate forester, Bruce Westerman (R-Arkansas), has said “Working forests are our number one renewable resource. Healthy working forests promote clean air and clean water. There is no downside to a healthy forest.”
The Senate Working Forest Caucus was formed in 2017 by Senators Angus King (I-Maine) and Jim Risch (R-Idaho), also a graduate forester. According to Senator Risch, “This caucus will serve as a resource to those families and communities that rely on working forests, while advancing policies that support and encourage responsible, active forest management.”
The formation of these caucuses is a positive step toward the interests of woodland owners being reflected in public policy. However, there is an important ingredient missing! That is the lack of either of the Kentucky senators or any of the Kentucky congressmen in the membership of these caucuses.
By way of comparison, the bourbon industry has a congressional caucus, and the two co-chairmen are congressmen from Kentucky. This is a good thing, but what about us, the woodland owners? How do we get our issues represented?
In order for us to be heard, our elected representatives have to be at the table. The best way to make that happen is for them to hear from us, the voters. If you believe that Kentucky, a state with substantial dependence on the forest industry, should be represented in the Working Forest Caucuses, please contact your senator and congressman today, and ask that they join their caucus. Phone numbers are listed below.
Mitch McConnell 202-224-2541
Rand Paul 202-224-4343
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
District 1 James Comer 202-225-3115
District 2 Brett Guthrie 202-225-3501
District 3 John Yarmuth 202-225-5401
District 4 Thomas Massie 202-225-3465
District 5 Harold Rogers 202-225-4601
District 6 Andy Barr 202-225-4706