Wild places sustain and define us; we, in turn, must protect them.
Calls are urgently needed to U.S. Representative James Comer of Kentucky’s 1st Congressional District to save Land Between the Lakes and other national forests from unrestrained logging. This is especially important if you live in Congressman Comer’s district in western and south-central Kentucky.
Congressman Comer has been selected as a member of the conference committee to reconcile the House and Senate versions of the 2018 Farm Bill. The committee will issue a “conference report” that will go back to the House and Senate for a final vote. The bill passed by the House includes federal forestry provisions that would allow logging on national forests, including clearcutting, on up to 6,000 acres at a time with no environmental analysis and little opportunity for public input. The specific changes would allow these large logging projects to occur under what’s called a “Categorical Exclusion” from the normal analysis and disclosure required under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The Senate bill contains no such language. Whether or not the devastating House language ends up in the final bill will hinge on conference committee negotiations.
Mr. Comer demonstrated his commitment to protecting Land Between the Lakes, his district’s national forest, when he voted against the Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2017, introduced by Representative Bruce Westerman of Arkansas. The Westerman bill, did not move on to a vote in the Senate, but provides the template for the House federal forests language in the Farm Bill. Mr. Westerman has also been assigned to the conference committee.
Kentuckians, and especially residents of the 1st Congressional District, have a crucial opportunity to help protect our public, national forest lands from perhaps the most audacious giveaway to the timber industry since our national forests were established more than a century ago. This is a phone call that really can make a difference.
Please call Congressman Comer’s Washington, D.C. office today at (202) 225-3115 and ask that he oppose inclusion of the federal forests language in the Farm Bill conference report. You can find contact information for Congressman Comer’s district offices here.
“I’m calling to ask that Congressman Comer continue to demonstrate his support for Land Between the Lakes by opposing the inclusion of the federal forests language in the House version of the Farm Bill in the final conference report.”
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