WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, ranking member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, today applauded the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Forest Service for taking a major step forward toward restoring three National forests in Michigan.
“Michigan’s forests are treasures that must be well managed so future generations can enjoy their beauty,” Stabenow said. “This agreement between the Michigan Department of Nature Resources and the Forest Service will not only help these lands thrive, they will also ensure they continue to be economic drivers for rural communities throughout the State. We worked hard to expand these types of collaborative projects in the 2014 Farm Bill and today’s announcement is just another step forward in that process.”
The agreement, called Good Neighbor Authority (GNA), was a major component of Stabenow’s 2014 Farm Bill. The agreement will help bolster conservation efforts in Hiawatha, Huron-Manistee, and Ottawa National Forest. Good Neighbor Authority allows state foresters to perform forest restoration work on federal lands that, because of Forest Service budget constraints, would likely otherwise go untreated.
In May, Stabenow led a letter with eight U.S. Senators urging Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to take additional federal efforts to protect and manage our national forests. Today’s announcement reflects the efforts of those Senators as well as represents a key step in the agency’s strategy to implement Farm Bill forestry reforms.