Forest landowners take great price in being good stewards of their land and forest resources. Forest landowners believe in a common-sense approach to protecting the environment through federal environmental laws. Forest landowners support reform of excessively burdensome environmental laws and regulations, which are often insensitive to the concerns of private landowners.
All the talk about protecting species, habitat, and wetland land areas overlooks a crucial point: most private landowners want to protect rare plants, animals, and stream beds. Landowners understand the idea of a balanced approach to protecting both wildlife habitat and natural resources along with timber production and family owned businesses. The problem arises when landowners are forced to give us their land or livelihood for the good of the environment. Environmental policies such as endangered species protection, wetland designation, green-belts, coastal zone protection, and zoning all impact forestlands. Protecting our natural resources is one of the most important actions landowners can take; however, it will not happen by restricting land management or facing families to sell their lands. Respect for all life must include respect for the rights and welfare of our fellow human beings.
Goals for Congressional Action
Educate lawmakers about the impact that overly restrictive provisions such as the Endangered Species Act (ESA) can have on the forestry community. Urge lawmakers to ensure that any ESA reform includes compensation in the case of property takings in the name of protecting wildlife. Work to assist small private landowners in the form of incentives for maintaining suitable habitat for species. Encourage lawmakers to amend the Clean Water Act and its implementing regulations to modify the excessively restrictive permitting process that is required for wetland modification or development.