Working Forests Caucus

Working Forests Caucus The Working Forests Caucus provides a forum to discuss the unique impacts federal policies have on private working forests in the United States.

Posts containing profanity, harassment, or links to outside sites are subject to removal. The Working Forests Caucus is a bipartisan coalition of Members of Congress who seek to promote the economic, environmental and social benefits of private timberlands that represent 74 percent of all working forests in the United States. The Working Forests Caucus provides a forum for Members and their staffs to discuss the unique impacts that federal policies have on private working forests in the U.S. These working forests are a driver of the rural economies across our country. They support 2.4 million jobs, $87 billion in payroll and $223 billion in annual sales, and contribute 5.7 percent of total manufacturing toward a wide array of products that improve our quality of life. A strong marketplace for forest products has helped keep rural America employed and U.S. forests robust. In fact, the volume of growing trees in the U.S. has increased 50 percent since the 1950s. Working forests also provide substantial environmental and social benefits to America’s communities and citizens. These forests filter more than 25% of U.S. drinking water, help protect 60% of America’s at-risk wildlife and are a significant sink for carbon emissions. These forests also provide beautiful landscapes and ideal destinations for outdoor recreation such as fishing, hunting and backpacking. Working forests are unlike any other national resource, and federal policies must continue to support the underlying factors that make this one of America’s most important natural resource success stories. To this end, the Caucus plans to help facilitate discussions about the issues important to the sustainability of working forests, including the long-term economic investment required to maintain forests in a healthy and productive condition, the critical role of markets to keeping working forests from being converted to other economic uses, and the environmental and social benefits that working forests provide to citizens and communities across the country.

Operating as usual

10/24/2019
Congressman Bruce Westerman

Congressman Bruce Westerman

This week is Forest Products Week, and I'm proud to champion sound forest management in the House. The timber industry plays a huge role in Arkansas - some estimate it supports 70,000 jobs, both directly and indirectly - and we've seen better wildlife habitats, air quality, and water resources as a result of sustainable forestry.

Working forests work! Watch more of my thoughts below.

In honor of #NationalForestProductsWeek, we're re-reading this op-ed from WFC Co-Chair Bruce Westerman. "Conversations s...
10/21/2019
The best way to preserve forests? Use trees.

In honor of #NationalForestProductsWeek, we're re-reading this op-ed from WFC Co-Chair Bruce Westerman.

"Conversations surrounding forest management can quickly turn combative, as conservationists advocate for active forest management, but some environmentalists push for a hands-off approach. The solution to this impasse is simple, albeit counterintuitive. If we want more trees, we should all be using more products made from trees."

We need to work together to steward our country’s abundant natural resources. Working forests provide long-term carbon storage and outdoor recreation, and they create profitable jobs and products we use every day.

WFC member John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) hosted an event at the Caddo National Grasslands in his district. Can you guess what...
09/24/2019

WFC member John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) hosted an event at the Caddo National Grasslands in his district.

Can you guess what trees are in the background here?

WFC Co-Chair Bruce Westerman hosted USFS Chief Vicki Christiansen in his district over August recess. Read more about th...
09/20/2019

WFC Co-Chair Bruce Westerman hosted USFS Chief Vicki Christiansen in his district over August recess. Read more about their time below 👇

This week, I wrapped up the summer work period with a visit from U.S. Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen. We got to tour several sites in the Fourth District, including Albert Pike rec area and Avant Mining.

I'm really looking forward to taking what we learned back to D.C. as Congress starts the fall session.

"With the impacts of a warming planet becoming more apparent every day, climate change is taking center stage in the rac...
07/10/2019
Putting America's forests to work on climate change

"With the impacts of a warming planet becoming more apparent every day, climate change is taking center stage in the race for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination. Most of the candidates have articulated commitments or released plans to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions through legislation, administrative actions, international diplomacy and other initiatives. Yet, the candidates have spent almost no time on one of America’s best weapons against climate change — forests."

Working forests work. Here's why.

For the Democratic presidential candidates and all policymakers for that matter, investing in forests to slow climate change makes political sense.

ICYMI: this story showcases just how much local communities depend on working forests. “At one time, we were a mill town...
07/01/2019
It was the backbone of this town for 131 years. Now Luke paper mill is gone.

ICYMI: this story showcases just how much local communities depend on working forests.

“At one time, we were a mill town,” Clemons said, days before the closure. “Now, we are a town with a mill.”

This is why we need to raise awareness of the need for working forests. When we hurt the mills, we hurt the forests, which means we don't value the pure air, clean water, and wildlife habitats they provide.

Almost 700 people have lost their jobs, and a Western Maryland town has lost its center.

"The environmental reality is that working forests are the most powerful carbon capture technology we have. In New York'...
06/18/2019
Commentary: New York's working forests help offset climate change

"The environmental reality is that working forests are the most powerful carbon capture technology we have. In New York's working forests, a never-ending cycle of growth, harvest, and regeneration keeps our forests doing exactly what we need them to do — perpetually drawing carbon from the atmosphere and storing that carbon in long-lived wood products. Nationally, forests sequester 15 to 20 percent of our emissions every year. But that sequestration only occurs if we can keep the forest there to begin with."

Yes! 👏🏻

With Washington paralyzed by partisan gridlock, states are tackling climate change head-on. New York is poised to lead. But the stakes are high — if Democrats with a supermajority in a key state like New York can't get climate policy right, comprehensive policy to address climate change at the nat...

Celebrating trees should be a national holiday....oh wait, it is! Wishing you all a happy National Arbor Day, a day to e...
04/26/2019

Celebrating trees should be a national holiday....oh wait, it is! Wishing you all a happy National Arbor Day, a day to educate the world on the importance of caring for and replanting trees.

We on the Working Forests Caucus believe that sustainable forestry includes replanting more young trees than we harvest, to encourage forest growth and preserve wildlife habitats. Healthy, vibrant forests are always our primary goal.

04/24/2019

It's #NationalParkWeek! U.S. national parks are home to some of the most incredible trees in the country, including Redwood National Park, Joshua Tree National Park, and Sequoia National Park.

When we revitalize working forests to minimize wildfire risk and maximize wildlife habitats, it's a win for all of America and allows these more famous trees to thrive!

Did you know that active forest management actually stimulates wildlife expansion? It's a common myth that all forests a...
04/04/2019
‘Oh, Hi There.’ Forest Cam Captures the Secret Lives of Animals.

Did you know that active forest management actually stimulates wildlife expansion?

It's a common myth that all forests are better off left to themselves. In reality, planting new trees, clearing old brush, and restoring young forests improves water quality, captures more carbon, and makes the environment more pest-resistant.

Check out how these wildlife cameras educate people on the need for forest management:

A new project aims to take a census of endangered forests, one hidden-camera snapshot at a time.

It's anything but a slow news week in Washington, but that doesn't mean we're forgetting about trees. This article from ...
03/25/2019
Urban Foresters Need More Data to Fight Climate Change

It's anything but a slow news week in Washington, but that doesn't mean we're forgetting about trees. This article from City Lab provides interesting insight into an often overlooked topic: urban forests.

Just because trees are growing in cities doesn't mean they still can't benefit from active forest management!

“We need to undo the conception that natural areas are inherently self-sustaining,” said Sarah Charlop-Powers, executive director of New York City’s Natural Areas Conservancy. “We need to start thinking of [them] as one more type of urban parkland, and we’d never say: ‘We built that playground; we don’t need to check and make sure the equipment is in good working order.’”

Read more ⬇️

A new survey finds that urban forests could benefit from better data on climate change and pests and a focus on social equity.

Happy #InternationalForestsDay! Members of the Working Forests Caucus come to the table with a variety of approaches to ...
03/21/2019

Happy #InternationalForestsDay! Members of the Working Forests Caucus come to the table with a variety of approaches to sustainable forest management, but we all have a common goal: stewarding our resources well for future generations to enjoy.

03/18/2019
Watch Faces of the Forest: Meet the Rainey Family of Arkansas

"Forest management is something that a lot of landowners often don't think about. ...Managing these forests, they're just like cattle. They're just like row crops. Sometimes they have to have a little bit of TLC, and sometimes we have to do some things to help them along the way."

Watch more of the Rainey family's approach to working forests ⬇️

For more than a decade, meet the Arkansas forester who helps hundreds of family forest owners take care of this precious natural resource. Jeff Berry knows w...

Did you read Rep. Bruce Westerman's article on working forests yesterday? Healthy forests ➡️ healthy rural economies, wa...
03/15/2019
The best way to preserve forests? Use trees.

Did you read Rep. Bruce Westerman's article on working forests yesterday? Healthy forests ➡️ healthy rural economies, water supplies and wildlife populations.

We need to work together to steward our country’s abundant natural resources. Working forests provide long-term carbon storage and outdoor recreation, and they create profitable jobs and products we use every day.

Today, caucus co-chairs Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) and Sanford Bishop (D-Ga.) hosted a bipartisan briefing to highlight ho...
03/14/2019

Today, caucus co-chairs Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) and Sanford Bishop (D-Ga.) hosted a bipartisan briefing to highlight how collaborative forest management and a healthy rural economy leads to better wildlife habitats across the U.S.

"I am filled with optimism for what can actually happen with our forests and with our wildlife with the innovations we see with forest products today," Westerman said.

“Collaboration is not only possible, but it’s also the most effective thing we can do,” Bishop said.

Other participants included:
U.S. Sen. Angus King (I-Maine)
U.S. Rep. French Hill (R-Ark.)
U.S. Rep. Gary Palmer (R-Ala.)
Wendi Weber, Northeast regional director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Jeff Crane, president, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation
Colin O’Mara, president and CEO, National Wildlife Federation

Thanks to everyone who attended the event!

It's been awhile since you've heard from us, and with a new Congress come new developments! We've got some exciting plan...
03/12/2019

It's been awhile since you've heard from us, and with a new Congress come new developments! We've got some exciting plans in the works, but first want to answer your questions. Leave them in the comments below 👇

10/24/2018
Congressman Bruce Westerman

Working Forests Caucus Co-Chair Bruce Westerman is celebrating Forest Products Week in his home state of Arkansas. Remember, #WorkingForestsWork.

This week is National Forest Products Week. Wood products provide us with shelter, household materials, and packaging that we use daily. The forest product industry employs nearly 25,000 people in Arkansas in 95 different manufacturing facilities. Last week, I was able to visit Weyerhaeuser’s newly expanded lumber mill in Dierks. I am glad to celebrate all those who work in this important sector of our state and national economy!

10/11/2018

We would like to welcome Rep. Rob Bishop to the Working Forests Caucus! He understands that healthy forests are working forests. We are glad to have you on board supporting working forests across the USA!

Today's panel discussion with Secretary Perdue and guests from across the House, Senate, and industry was informative an...
07/18/2018

Today's panel discussion with Secretary Perdue and guests from across the House, Senate, and industry was informative and exciting. Thank you to everyone who participated!

Working Forests Caucus Hosts Secretary Perdue, Panelists to Discuss Timber Innovation
07/18/2018
Working Forests Caucus Hosts Secretary Perdue, Panelists to Discuss Timber Innovation

Working Forests Caucus Hosts Secretary Perdue, Panelists to Discuss Timber Innovation

The House and Senate Working Forests Caucuses hosted a discussion at the U.S. Capitol Wednesday (July 18) with keynote speaker Sonny Perdue, Secretary of Agriculture, and a panel of experts on the “Role of Innovation and Applied Research In Expanding Forest Products Markets.”

07/09/2018

We would like to welcome Congressman Jared Huffman as the newest member of the Working Forests Caucus!

The Working Forests Caucus is now verified on Twitter and Facebook! Follow us to stay up to date on America's working fo...
01/16/2018
Working Forests Caucus (@WorkingForests) | Twitter

The Working Forests Caucus is now verified on Twitter and Facebook! Follow us to stay up to date on America's working forests!

The latest Tweets from Working Forests Caucus (@WorkingForests). The bipartisan House Working Forests Caucus was formed to advocate for working forests across the United States. Washington, D.C.

Today, the Working Forests Caucus official launched its new website and social media channels. Get the scoop from Co-Cha...
01/08/2018
Working Forests Caucus Launches Website, Social Media Accounts

Today, the Working Forests Caucus official launched its new website and social media channels. Get the scoop from Co-Chairs Sanford D. Bishop, Jr., Jaime Herrera Beutler, Collin Peterson, and Congressman Bruce Westerman:

The Working Forests Caucus launched a new website and social media accounts on Monday (January 8). The caucus is a bipartisan coalition of Members of Congress who seek to promote the economic, environmental and social benefits of private timberlands that represent 74 percent of all working forests i...

Working Forests Caucus
11/15/2017

Working Forests Caucus

Working Forests Caucus's cover photo
11/15/2017

Working Forests Caucus's cover photo

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