Posted: Sep 24, 2013 10:28 AM by MTN News
HELENA - Montana Congressman Steve Daines was in Helena on Monday, updating the Montana Association of Counties on the house recent passage of his forest management reform bill.
Daines says "The Restoring Healthy Forests for Healthy Communities Act " will allow harvesting of timber on national forests, including ones right here in Montana.
He said his bill will provide more jobs than Senator Jon Tester's bill, taking the current harvest from 63 million board feet to a minimum of 384 million board feet of timber.
"The main difference is that this is going to create 10 times more jobs, it's 5,000 jobs. Second is that it's extends across all ten of our national forests in Montana, versus two national forests. And third, it goes on forever versus sun setting in 15 years," Daines explained.
The Republican added Montana used to have 30 saw mills statewide, but now only has seven as a result of litigation and the halt of timber harvesting on national forests over the years.
The U.S. House recently passed the bill on a bipartisan vote, 244 to 173, and it now moves into the U.S. Senate.