Daines Talks Forest Management, Forestry Jobs at Senate Hearing

U.S. SENATE – At a U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources hearing today, U.S. Senator Steve Daines discussed his bipartisan bills that would promote active forest management by reversing the disastrous Cottonwood decision and help protect Montana from catastrophic wildfires by supporting Montana Job Corps Civilian Centers’ mission and ensuring graduates have a pipeline to wildfire and forestry jobs.

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“Sustainable forest management creates sustainable rural economies. It also leads to more carbon sequestration, important mitigation strategies that relate to warmer summers and longer fire seasons, healthier watersheds and air, and productive wildlife habitat. Better forest management can also help Montana’s housing shortage—at one time nearly one-quarter of all new U.S. homes were built with lumber harvested from national forests but now that number is actually closer to zero. We have to do more to manage our forests, or our forests will continue to manage us,” Daines said.

Through years of hard work and bipartisan negotiation, Daines’ bill to reverse the Cottonwood Decision cleared the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee in July.

At the hearing, Daines also talked about his bipartisan legislation with Senator Merkley (D-Ore.) to support Montana Job Corps Civilian Centers’ forestry curriculum and ensure there is a pipeline for graduates to good-paying forestry jobs.

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“Montana’s job corps centers help train and prepare young Montanans to enter the workforce. In fact, in 2019 I was very glad to lead the fight in Congress to keep these centers open serving our students and our communities. But now, Congress and the Forest Service must work together to ensure these centers are the best that they can be. The ‘Civilian Conservation Center Enhancement Act’ does just this by expanding the forestry curriculum, ensuring graduates have a pipeline to fulfilling careers, and granting the Forest Service more flexibility in the day-to-day operations of the center. This bill has the support of several organizations and I’d like to ask for unanimous consent to enter these letters of support into record. The Anaconda and Trapper Creek job corps centers have already seen success in applying many of the principles and goals in this bill. I’m proud to support their ongoing efforts and excited to see this success replicated in other centers across the country,” Daines said.

Daines introduced the bipartisan “Civilian Conservation Center Enhancement Act” earlier this month.


 Contact: Rachel DumkeBlake Kernen