January 15, 2004
Jan. 2004 -- President George W. Bush signed into law on Dec. 3, 2003, the Healthy Forest Restoration Act. In doing so, he stated that uncontrolled growth stemming from years of neglect has made America?s forests a breeding ground for insects, disease and ultimately, devastating wildfires.
The legislation is one of the strongest environmental protection laws passed in three decades, and will arm local land managers with tools and programs to implement fuel-reduction projects to help prevent wildfires.
Using the best science available, land managers will be able to better control disease, weeds, insects and other pests, as well as protect delicate wildlife habitat, ecosystems and improve the overall condition of our nation?s forests and rangelands.
The President?s closing statement drew applause when he said, ?The principles behind the Healthy Forest Initiative were not invented in the White House, and truthfully, not invented in the Congress. They were founded on the experience of scientists, forestry experts, and, as importantly, the firefighters who know what they?re talking about.?
The Public Lands Council (PLC) has supported this initiative from the start. Skye Krebs, an Oregon sheep rancher, is PLC secretary-treasurer.