Co-Founder of Working Forests Caucus Honored at NASF Partners Reception in Washington
WASHINGTON (December 7, 2016)—The National Association of State Foresters (NASF) today presented Congressman Bruce Westerman of Arkansas with the 2016 Bernard L. Orell Award at the NASF Partners Reception in Washington, DC.
Rep. Westerman is a Yale School of Forestry-educated forester and is the only professional forester in Congress. Rep. Westerman has said, “Working forests are our nation’s number one renewable resource. Healthy working forests promote clean air and water. There is no downside to a healthy forest.”
“Congressional leaders like Representative Bruce Westerman allow State Foresters to more effectively conserve, protect and enhance America’s trees and forests. Congressman Westerman understands the importance of science-based forest management, cross-boundary partnerships, and bipartisan efforts to work across the landscape. We are thrilled to present the Bernard L. Orell Award to a fellow forester this year,” said Wyoming State Forester and NASF President Bill Crapser.
Congressman Westerman works across the aisle with his colleagues to promote, support, and strengthen the forestry community nationwide.
“Working forests create jobs and opportunities using a natural, renewable resource. State Foresters are an important part of the forest economy and help ensure that this natural resource remains healthy and vibrant. I commend State Foresters across the country for their efforts that benefit the American economy in ways large and small,” Congressman Bruce Westerman said today.
Rep. Westerman introduced H.R.2647, the Emergency Wildfire and Forest Management Act of 2016, a bill with bipartisan support that streamlines process, encourages collaboration and supports more active forest management. He also initiated the bipartisan Working Forests Caucus, a voice in Congress for active and responsible forest management.
The Caucus hosts informational sessions for Congressmen and their staffs on the value of active management and the latest forest management challenges. State Foresters have been invited to speak and participate at the Working Forests Caucus sessions. Robert Farris, the State Forester of Georgia and the Chair of the Southern Group of State Foresters addressed the caucus during its inaugural event on Capitol Hill. Farris spoke about Forest Action Plans, how these plans help target limited resources where they are needed most, and why these strategies and assessments are critical to sustain healthy working forests.
The Bernard L. Orell Award was named in memory of Mr. Orell (1914-1983), State Forester of Washington State from 1949 to 1953. Orell left the state forestry agency to enter industry and eventually became the vice president at Weyerhaeuser where he became a leader in the development of national forestry policy. This award is limited to Members of Congress and is presented periodically to a deserving representative of Congress who has made significant contributions to state and private forestry.