Portland, OR – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced that the draft Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2014 includes an extension of forest stewardship contracting, which he worked to include. The authority expires at the end of the fiscal year.
“Forest stewardships contracts are good for creating jobs in the woods and maintaining forest health,” Merkley said. “Letting the authority for this important tool expire would have been a terrible mistake. I am glad the Senate is acting to continue stewardship contracts for Oregon’s rural counties.”
Stewardship contracting provides flexible contracting tools to help federal land management agencies and their partners restore public lands, decrease the threat of wildfire and disease, provide wood for local mills, and support local economies. The reauthorization of the stewardship contracting authority has long been a priority for Senator Merkley. Stewardship contracting is used more in Oregon than any other state.
The bill will need to pass the House and the Senate before becoming law.