Alcee Hastings on Environment
Democratic Representative (FL-23)
Voted YES on $2 billion more for Cash for Clunkers program.
Congressional Summary:Emergency supplemental appropriations of $2 billion for the Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save (CARS) Program.
Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Rep. OBEY (D, WI-7): The cash for clunkers program has proven even more wildly popular than its strongest supporters had predicted. Just last month, Congress passed the program, which provided up to $4,500 if you trade in your old gas guzzler for a new car that gets better mileage. That was done in the hopes of spurring some new car sales and encouraging people to be a little more environmentally friendly. We provided $1 billion in the supplemental to get it going, enough for about 250,000 sales--which was just about exhausted in one week. This bill transfers $2 billion from the Department of Energy's Innovative Technology Loan Guarantee program, which doesn't expect to award funding until late next year.
Opponent's argument to vote No:Rep. LEWIS (R, CA-41):
In the majority's haste to slam legislation with no time for consideration or amendments, we are now seeing the effects of such shortsighted martial law tactics.
Senator Feinstein tried to negotiate some changes to improve the program but was told that it was this way or the highway. Not one hearing on the Cash for Clunkers program, not one hearing on how the first billion dollars has been spent, not one hearing on how much money the program will need to get through the fiscal year.
Many of my colleagues will say, This is a great program, and it is necessary for the revitalization of the car industry. I'm not really going to argue with those goals. However, are we sure this program is working like it's supposed to? I don't think so. This program has only been up and running 1 week. If that is how the government is going to handle billion-dollar programs affecting all Americans, I ask, Whatever will we do if the administration takes control of our health care system?
Reference: Cash for Clunkers bill;
Bill H.R. 3435
; vote number 2009-H682
on Jul 31, 2009
Voted YES on protecting free-roaming horses and burros.
- Ensure that acreage available for wild and free-roaming horses and burros is at least equal to the acreage where they were found in 1971
- update the inventory of such horses and burros annually
- maintain a thriving natural ecological balance on lands where such horses and burros are found
- establish sanctuaries for such horses and burros
- research and implement enhanced fertility control for mares & stallions.
Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Rep. NICK RAHALL (D, WV-3): Earlier this year, the BLM made a truly shocking announcement. This Federal agency announced future plans to destroy, i.e., slaughter, 30,000 healthy wild horses and burros entrusted to their care by the American people. How in the world can a Federal agency be considering massive slaughter of animals the law says they are supposed to be protecting? The bill before us gives the agency as many options as possible to avoid destroying these animals.
Opponent's argument to vote No:Rep. DOC HASTINGS (R, WA-4): Across our Nation, Americans are struggling to pay their bills; 9.5% of Americans are out of work. With this backdrop, what is the response of this Democrat Congress to record unemployment and skyrocketing deficits? Their response is to create a $700 million welfare program for wild horses and burros. If the American people want an illustration of just how out of touch this Congress has become on spending, they need to look no further. In the last Congress, the House passed legislation to ban the commercial slaughter of wild horses and burros, that cost taxpayers less than $500,000 a year. Now we're looking at a bill that, again, bans slaughter of these animals but then proceeds to spend $700 million to create a new welfare program for wild horses. Republicans are focused on creating the jobs in this country, but this Democrat Congress seems to be more worried about wild burros and wild horses.
Reference: Restore Our American Mustangs Act;
; vote number 2009-H577
on Jul 17, 2009
Voted YES on $9.7B for Amtrak improvements and operation thru 2013.
Source: Beach Protection Act (S.2844) 08-S2844 on Apr 10, 2008
- Authorizes appropriations for FY2009-FY2013 for Amtrak capital and operating grants; Amtrak repayment of long-term debt and capital leases; and the rail cooperative research program.
- Authorizes grants for the Next Generation Corridor Train Equipment Pool Committee.
Proponents argument for voting YEA: Rep. OBERSTAR: America is on the threshold of a "renaissance'' for intercity passenger rail that approaches the enthusiasm of the completion of the transcontinental railroad. Last year, Amtrak set a ridership record for the fifth year in a row, exceeding 25.8 million passengers. Its ticket revenues rose 11 percent to more than $1.5 billion, the third straight year of revenue growth. This record of achievement is even more impressive considering that for the past eight years Amtrak has contended with an Administration committed to its bankruptcy.
Indeed, these achievements are occurring when there is a greater need than ever for alternatives to our congested highways and skies. To alleviate this congestion and strengthen our energy security, we need to invest in intercity passenger rail.
Other countries already make an annual commitment to intercity passenger rail. In 2003 alone, France invested $10.6 billion in its rail system; Germany invested $12.4 billion; and the United Kingdom invested $7.8 billion. China plans to spend a total of $162 billion from 2006 through 2010 to expand its railway system. This bill authorizes $14 billion over 5 years:
Reference: Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act;
; vote number 2008-400
on Jun 11, 2008
- $6.7 billion for capital grants
- $3.0 billion for operating grants
- $2.5 billion for 80% matching grants to States to pay for the capital costs of facilities
- $1.75 billion to finance 11 authorized high-speed rail corridors
Voted YES on increasing AMTRAK funding by adding $214M to $900M.
Voting YES on this amendment would restore $214 million in funding for AMTRAK, bringing the total annual expenditure for AMTRAK to $1.114 billion. The chairman of the Railroad Subcommittee explained the increase as follows:
Opponents of the amendment say that it would increase funding for Amtrak by gutting and eliminating critical programs, including safety programs, resulting in reductions in force at several agencies.
Reference: Department of Transportation appropriations;
Bill HR 5576 Amendment 1008
; vote number 2006-263
on Jun 13, 2006
- Unlike aviation, highways and transit, there is no dedicated funding for investing in our Nation's passenger rail service. This amendment restores $214 million to the Amtrak account, taking it to $1.114 billion, which is still about $300 million less than we had during the course of last year's discussion.
- Last year the President sent up a budget of zero for Amtrak. We had an amendment process that we went through this time. This time we are up to $900 million in the bill [without this amendment].
- But if you look at that $900 million, there is only $500 million for capital expenditures, out of which has to come a debt service of $280 million, which only leaves $220 million for the capital needs of this country for Amtrak, for passenger rail.
- There is nothing for
operation, and I know that the response to that is going to be that there are some incentive grants in the bill.
Voted YES on barring website promoting Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump.
An amendment to prohibit funding the "Yucca Mountain Youth Zone" website. Voting YES indicates opposition to using Yucca Mountain as the national nuclear waste repository. The amendment's sponsor says:
I would like to introduce the American people to the newest member of the Bush administration's energy policy team. His name is Yucca Mountain Johnny. He is the star of the Energy Department's Yucca Mountain Youth Zone Web site devoted to brainwashing school children into believing that burying the Nation's nuclear garbage 90 miles from Los Vegas is safe.
- The Web site features games and activities to make high level nuclear waste fun. High level nuclear waste is not fun. It is dangerous, and the Department of Energy should not be using taxpayer money for a propaganda tool.
- I would probably not be as upset with Joe Camel, excuse me, Yucca Mountain Johnny, if there was a more balanced approach on this Web site. It doesn't talk about the potential of accidents or being an inviting target for
terrorists. It doesn't talk about the fact that Yucca Mountain is in a volcanic and seismic zone area. It doesn't say anything about the existence of safer and cheaper alternatives.
- Among Yucca Mountain Johnny's witty sayings, he says, "The worst mistake is never making one." Well, Yucca Mountain is a mistake. This Web site is a mistake. Yucca Mountain Johnny is a mistake, and to promote the proposed nuclear waste repository to our children under the guise of education is a big mistake.
The amendment's opponents respond:
Reference: Energy and water development appropriations bill;
Bill HR 5427 Amendment 919
; vote number 2006-200
on May 24, 2006
- To my knowledge, nobody has questioned the accuracy or truth of what is on the Web site. My guess is that most of the children that access this website use it for term papers and papers in their classrooms that they have to do on nuclear power.
- Whether you oppose or support the repository, we should at least want the facts out to our children and adults who wish to use that same Web site about just what exactly it is.
Voted NO on deauthorizing "critical habitat" for endangered species.
To amend and reauthorize the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to provide greater results conserving and recovering listed species, and for other purposes, including:
Reference: Threatened and Endangered Species Recovery Act;
Bill HR 3824
; vote number 2005-506
on Sep 29, 2005
- Repealing the authority to designate an area as “critical habitat” for an endangered species
- Requiring the Secretary of the Interior to create “recovery plans” within two years of classifying species as endangered or threatened
- Allowing recovery agreements with private citizens whose land may be part of a species recovery plan
- Issuing grants to support private property owners who voluntarily help to increase the number of endangered or threatened species on their private land
- Providing compensation in an amount no less than fair market value to private landowners who have had regulation imposed upon their land
- Calling upon the Secretary to submit an annual cost analysis of the previous years spending to Congress, including the amount of Federal and State funds used for each species
Voted NO on speeding up approval of forest thinning projects.
Vote to adopt the conference report on the bill that would reduce and expedite (speed up) environmental and judicial reviews of forest thinning projects. The bill would authorize $760 million a year from fiscal 2004 to fiscal 2008. The Bureau of Land Management and the US Forest Service would have the authorization to remove vegetation that could cause or assist the spread of wildfires, disease or insect infestation. All forest thinning project would come after public meetings had been held. Forest thinning would be restricted to land that is within a 1.5 miles of at-risk communities , high-risk land that serves as a home for threatened and endangered species, high-risk land in the area of municipal water sources and and high-risk land that is specifically susceptible to disease or insect infestation.
Reference: Healthy Forests Restoration Act;
Bill HR 1904
; vote number 2003-656
on Nov 21, 2003
Prohibits commercial logging on Federal public lands.
Hastings co-sponsored prohibiting commercial logging on Federal public lands
Congress finds the following:
- Forest Service polls show that a strong majority of the American people think that natural resources on Federal public lands should not be made available to produce consumer goods.
- Recreation and tourism in the National Forest System creates over 30 times more jobs, and generates over 30 times more income, than commercial logging on national forests.
- Timber cut from Federal public lands comprises less than 5% of US annual timber consumption.
- The vast majority of America's original pristine forests have been logged, and what little primary forest that remains exists almost entirely on public lands.
- It is in the interests of the American people and the international community to protect and restore native biodiversity in our Federal public lands for its inherent benefits.
- Commercial logging has many indirect costs which are very significant, but not easily measured, such as flooding damage, damage to
the salmon fishing industry; and harm to the recreation and tourism industries.
EXCERPTS OF BILL:
- Prohibits commercial logging and timber sales (with specified exceptions) on Federal public lands, with a two-year phase-out for existing contracts.
- Provides for payment of relinquished contracts.
- Establishes a National Heritage Restoration Corps to restore (and monitor) such lands to their natural pre-logging condition.
- Sets forth provisions respecting forest fire and hazardous fuel reduction.
- Provides for worker retraining of eligible persons whose jobs have been lost due to terminated timber and logging contracts.
- Sets forth fund allocation provisions, including amounts for an Environmental Protection Agency investigation of non-wood paper and construction alternatives.
LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME:Referred to House Subcommittee on 21st Century Competitiveness; never came to a vote.
Source: National Forest Protection and Restoration Act (H.R.1494) 01-HR1494 on Apr 4, 2001
Rated 90% by the LCV, indicating pro-environment votes.
Hastings scores 90% by the LCV on environmental issues
The League of Conservation Voters (LCV) is the political voice of the national environmental movement and the only organization devoted full-time to shaping a pro-environment Congress and White House. We run tough and effective campaigns to defeat anti-environment candidates, and support those leaders who stand up for a clean, healthy future for America. Through our National Environmental Scorecard and Presidential Report Card we hold Congress and the Administration accountable for their actions on the environment. Through regional offices, we build coalitions, promote grassroots power, and train the next generation of environmental leaders.
The 2003 National Environmental Scorecard provides objective, factual information about the environmental voting records of all Members of the first session of the 108th Congress. This Scorecard represents the consensus of experts from 20 respected environmental and conservation organizations who selected the key votes on which Members of Congress should be graded. LCV scores votes on the most important issues of the year, including environmental health and safety protections, resource conservation, and spending for environmental programs. Scores are calculated by dividing the number of pro-environment votes by the total number of votes scored. The votes included in this Scorecard presented Members of Congress with a real choice on protecting the environment and help distinguish which legislators are working for environmental protection. Except in rare circumstances, the Scorecard excludes consensus action on the environment and issues on which no recorded votes occurred.
Source: LCV website 03n-LCV on Dec 31, 2003
Promote conservation of rare felids & canids.
Hastings co-sponsored promoting conservation of rare felids & canids
To assist in the conservation of rare felids and rare canids by supporting and providing financial resources for the conservation programs of nations within the range of rare felid and rare canid populations and projects of persons with demonstrated expertise in the conservation of rare felid and rare canid populations. Congress finds the following:
Source: Great Cats and Rare Canids Act (H.R.1464) 07-H1464 on Mar 9, 2007
- Many wild populations of felids and canids, once considered common, are in decline, and many have declined to the point that their long-term survival in the wild is in serious jeopardy.
- Of the 37 wild felid species worldwide, all are currently recognized as species in need of protection. Of the 35 wild canid species worldwide, nearly 50% are recognized as in need of such protection.
- In addition to their intrinsic value, felids and canids are important aesthetic, economic, and ecological global resources that need to be conserved.
Large felids and canids are considered both keystone and indicator species. Healthy populations of these species act as an important indicator of the integrity of entire ecosystems.
- Rare felids and rare canids face an array of threats, including loss of habitat and natural prey, intentional and unintentional takings by humans, disease transmission, and a vast number of other threats. These threats need to be addressed in a coordinated fashion.
- The purposes of this Act are to provide financial resources and to foster international cooperation (1) to restore and perpetuate healthy populations of rare felids and rare canids in the wild; and (2) to assist in the conservation of rare felid and rare canid populations worldwide.
- Related bills: H.R.1913, S.1033
Grants for beach water pollution under Clean Water Act.
Hastings co-sponsored grants for beach water pollution under Clean Water Act
Beach Protection Act of 2008 - Amends the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (popularly known as the Clean Water Act) to include among eligible grant activities the development and implementation of programs for source tracking, sanitary surveys, and prevention efforts to address the identified sources of beach water pollution.
Requires grant recipients to identify:
- the use of a rapid testing method;
- measures for communication within 24 hours of the results of a water sample concerning pollutants to specified officials with authority to require the prevention or treatment of the sources of beach water pollution;
- measures to develop and implement a beach water pollution source identification and tracking program for the coastal recreation waters that are not meeting applicable water quality standards for pathogens; and
- a publicly accessible and searchable global information system database with information updated within 24 hours of its availability, organized by beach and with defined standards, sampling plan, monitoring protocols, sampling results, and number and cause of beach closing and advisory days.
- Legislative Outcome: Related bills: H.R.2537, S.1506. Senate Reports: 110-414.
Make tax deduction permanent for conservation easements.
Hastings signed H.R.1831 & S.812
Amends the Internal Revenue Code to make permanent the tax deduction for charitable contributions by individuals and corporations of real property interests for conservation purposes. Known in the Senate as the Rural Heritage Conservation Extension Act of 2009.
Source: Conservation Easement Incentive Act 09-HR1831 on Mar 31, 2009
Sponsored bill to add polar bear to endangered species list.
Hastings sponsored H.RES.1420
RESOLUTION Recognizing the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora on its 35th anniversary:
- Recognizes the important contributions the Convention has made in regulating international trade in endangered species and protecting such species worldwide.
- Recognizes the increasing importance of the Convention in addressing multiple and compounding threats on species and ecosystems arising from over-exploitation, habitat loss, invasive species, disease, and the effects of climate change.
- Applauds the Convention's recent leadership in reaffirming strong protections for the African elephant, and other endangered species.
Resolved, That the House of Representatives urges:
Source: Resolution on CITES 10-HR140 on May 28, 2010
- renewed, expanded, and accelerated commitments to the Convention by all Parties to ensure the Convention's contribution to species conservation;
- the U.S. delegation to the Convention to utilize international cooperation to encourage other
Parties to the Convention to collaborate effectively to curb excessive exploitation of species for international trade; and
- the Convention to adopt stronger protections for the polar bear, sharks, bluefin tuna, and other endangered species at the 16th meeting of the Conference of the Parties in 2013.
Regulate all dog breeders down to kennels of 50 dogs.
Hastings co-sponsored PUPS: Puppy Uniform Protection and Safety Act
Congressional Summary:Amends the Animal Welfare Act to define a "high volume retail breeder" as a person who, in commerce, for compensation or profit: has an ownership interest in or custody of one or more breeding female dogs; and sells more than 50 of the offspring of such dogs for use as pets in any one-year period. Considers such a breeder of dogs to be a dealer.
Promulgates requirements for the exercise of dogs at facilities owned or operated by high volume retail breeders, including requiring daily access to exercise that allows the dogs to move sufficiently in a way that is not forced, repetitive, or restrictive; and is in an area that is spacious, cleaned at least once a day, free of infestation by pests or vermin, and designed to prevent the dogs from escaping.
Opponent's Comments (GSDCA, the German Shepherd Dog Club of America):In the past, legislation has excluded home/hobby breeders. This bill would, for the first time, require
home/hobby breeders to follow the strict USDA requirements, such as engineering standards designed for large commercial kennels and not homes. Such regulations would exceedingly difficult to meet in a home/residential breeding environment. If passed, PUPS would disastrously reduce purposely-bred pups for the public.
There is nothing in this bill that changes the status of already known substandard kennel violators. There is no increase in funding for additional inspectors, nor is increased inspection evaluation education included.
Dogs purposely bred for showing, trialing or other events often are not bred for several years due to many different reasons. Some of these dogs may never be bred, yet are included in the count.
Working kennels maintain a large dog population while they are evaluating dogs; if the dogs do not work out for the purpose for which they were intended, they are often sold as pets. This could bring those working/training kennels under USDA regulations.
Source: HR835/S707 11-H0835 on Feb 28, 2011
Prohibit invasive research on great apes.
Hastings signed Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act
The Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act prohibits:
- conducting invasive research on great apes
- possessing, maintaining, or housing a great ape for the purpose of conducting invasive research
- using federal funds to conduct such research on a great ape or to support an entity conducting invasive research either within or outside of the US
- knowingly breeding a great ape for the purpose of conducting or facilitating such research
- transporting or selling a great ape in interstate or foreign commerce for conducting or facilitating such research.
Source: S.810&HR1513 11-HR1513 on Apr 13, 2011
- Defines "great ape" as any chimpanzee, bonobo, gorilla, orangutan, or gibbon.
Defines "invasive research" as research that may cause death, injury, pain, distress, fear, or trauma to great apes, including drug testing or exposure to a substance or isolation, or social deprivation.
- Requires the permanent retirement of all great apes that are owned by the federal government and that are being maintained in any facility for the purpose of breeding for, holding for, or conducting invasive research.
- Sets forth civil penalties for violations of this Act.
- Establishes in the Treasury the Great Ape Sanctuary System Fund to be administered for construction, renovation, and operation of the sanctuary system for surplus chimpanzees.
Rated 75% by HSLF, indicating a pro-animal welfare voting record.
Hastings scores 75% by the Humane Society on animal rights issues
112th Mid-Term Humane Scorecard: The Humane Society Legislative Fund has posted the final version of the 2011 Humane Scorecard, where you can track the performance of your federal lawmakers on key animal protection issues during last year. We rated legislators based on their voting behavior on measures such as agribusiness subsidies, lethal predator control, and the Endangered Species Act; their cosponsorship of priority bills on puppy mills, horse slaughter, animal fighting, and chimps in research; their support for funding the enforcement of animal welfare laws; and their leadership on animal protection.
All of the priority bills whose cosponsorships we're counting enjoy strong bipartisan support; in the House, each of the four now has more than 150 cosponsors.
The Humane Scorecard is not a perfect measuring tool, but creating some reasonable yardstick and allowing citizens to hold lawmakers accountable is central to our work. When the Humane Scorecard comes out each year, it helps clarify how the animal protection movement is doing geographically, by party affiliation, and in other categories. It helps us chart our course for animals by seeing where we have been effective, and where we need to improve.
Source: HSLF website 12-HumaneH on Jan 13, 2012
Sponsored tightening restrictions on hydrogen sulfide emissions.
Hastings co-sponsored BREATHE Act
Congressional Summary:This Act may be cited as the 'Bringing Reductions to Energy's Airborne Toxic Health Effects Act' or the BREATHE Act.
- Repeals the exemption for aggregation of emissions from oil and gas sources (CAA section 112(n) paragraph 4).
- Considers hydrogen sulfide as a hazardous air pollutant, including oil and gas wells as sources of hydrogen sulfide.
Proponent's argument for bill: (StopTheFrackAttack.org, July 2012 BREATHE Act Fact Sheet):
The BREATHE Act would close two exemptions in the Clean Air Act (CAA) that threaten the health of communities wrestling with oil and gas production in their backyard. The CAA established limits for major pollution sources; smaller sources of pollutants that are controlled by a single operator, located close to each other, are "aggregated" and considered as one source of emissions.
Unfortunately, the CAA exempts oil and gas wells from aggregation. The BREATHE Act would apply the CAA to oil & gas production.
A 1993 EPA Report to Congress on Hydrogen Sulfide Air Emissions Associated with the Extraction of Oil and Natural Gas clear
Source: H.R.1154 13-H1154 on Mar 14, 2013
Sponsored educating humans about spaying, neutering, & adopting pets.
Hastings co-sponsored House Resolution on animals
- WHEREAS between 6,000,000 to 8,000,000 cats and dogs are placed into shelters every year and between 3,000,000 and 4,000,000 are euthanized;
- WHEREAS the US has suffered a drastic economic crisis that has left animals behind in abandoned homes to die or left on the doorsteps of overpopulated shelters and rescues;
- WHEREAS there are between 4,000 to 6,000 animal shelters throughout the US in need of pet supplies, medical supplies, educational materials about owning a pet, as well as information on how to screen unqualified applicants and provide the best pet match for a family;
- WHEREAS increased knowledge and awareness of animal rescue programs throughout the US will significantly reduce the number of cats and dogs euthanized and reduce the number of animals returned to a shelter who have been rescued;
- WHEREAS a 'National Animal Rescue Day/Winslow's Day' will reduce the problem of pet overpopulation, provide animals with good homes, and create awareness as well
as financial and educational resources for the problems animal shelters face each day;
- WHEREAS a 'National Animal Rescue Day/Winslow's Day' would encourage homes for harmless animals like Winslow, a Basset Hound who spent his first 8 months of life st
Source: H.RES.63 13-HRes63 on Feb 12, 2013
Strengthen prohibitions against animal fighting.
Hastings co-sponsored strengthening prohibitions against animal fighting
Sen. CANTWELL. I reintroduce today the Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act of 2007. This legislation has won the unanimous approval of the Senate several times, but unfortunately has not yet reached the finish line.
There is no doubt, animal fighting is terribly cruel. Dogs and roosters are drugged to make them hyper-aggressive and forced to keep fighting even after suffering severe injuries such as punctured eyes and pierced lungs. It's all done for "entertainment" and illegal gambling. Some dogfighters steal pets to use as bait for training their dogs, while others allow trained fighting dogs to roam neighborhoods and endanger the public.
The Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act will strengthen current law by making the interstate transport of animals for the purpose of fighting a felony and increase the punishment to three years of jail time. This is necessary because the current misdemeanor penalty has proven ineffective--considered a "cost of doing business"
by those in the animal fighting industry which continues unabated nationwide.
These enterprises depend on interstate commerce, as evidenced by the animal fighting magazines that advertise and promote them. Our bill also makes it a felony to move cockfighting implements in interstate or foreign commerce. These are razor-sharp knives known as "slashers" and ice pick-like gaffs designed exclusively for cockfights and attached to the birds' legs for fighting.
This is long overdue legislation. It's time to get this felony animal fighting language enacted. It's time for Congress to strengthen the federal law so that it can provide as a meaningful deterrent against animal fighting. Our legislation does not expand the federal government's reach into a new area, but simply aims to make current law more effective. It is explicitly limited to interstate and foreign commerce, so it protects states' rights in the two states where cockfighting is still allowed.
Source: Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act (S.261/H.R.137) 2007-S261 on Jan 4, 2007
Declare a forest health emergency on federal lands.
Hastings co-sponsored declaring a forest health emergency on federal lands
National Forest Health Act: To declare that a forest health emergency exists on Federal lands under their jurisdiction; to carry out accelerated forest health improvement programs to prevent further forest damage and reduce the risk of disaster wildfires on these lands; and to implement management strategies designed to produce sustained, diverse, and healthy forest ecosystems on these lands. The Congress finds the following:
Source: National Forest Health Act (H.R.229) 93-HR229 on Jan 5, 1993
- Forest health emergencies currently exist on many Federal forest lands that have substantial areas of dead and dying trees as a result of drought, insect infestations, disease, fire, windstorm, or other causes.
- There are many complex causes for these forest health emergencies, including historic and recent forest management methods, fire suppression policies, forest-type changes, and climate trends.
When forest health emergencies exist and are allowed to spread, substantial economic losses are sustained, through the loss of timber, watershed quality and performance, recreational opportunities, and fishery and wildlife habitat.
- Federal forest lands subject to a forest health emergency, if properly thinned or otherwise treated to reduce unnatural levels of dry fuel, will have a better chance of resisting insect and disease epidemics, as well as being able to tolerate both prescribed fire and occasional wildfires.
- The removal of dead, dying, and excess live trees on Federal forest lands subject to a forest health emergency, if done expeditiously and with sensitivity to the need to retain some dead wood to help provide stand structure for multi-resource values, can begin the forest health restoration process
Page last updated: Jan 17, 2017