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Chair Abigail Spanberger Opening Statement at Hearing "A 2022 Review of the Farm Bill: Forestry"

WASHINGTON House Agriculture Subcommittee Chair Abigail Spanberger delivered the following statement at today's hearing “A 2022 Review of the Farm Bill: Forestry."

[As prepared for delivery]


Good morning, I would like to welcome you to today’s hearing, entitled “A 2022 Review of the Farm Bill: Forestry.” This hearing is our opportunity to hear from Chief Moore of the U.S. Forest Service and a variety of American industry, environmental, and forestry-focused organizations on their thoughts about what is and is not working from the forestry provisions of the 2018 Farm Bill — as well as about other ways this Committee can better support our forests, support the American workers they employ, and support the regional economies they keep afloat.

Healthy forests, both public and private, are critical to our fight against the climate crisis — and we’ve seen the urgency of this fight as we prepare for and respond to yet another brutal fire season here in the United States.

Forests not only sequester carbon pollution, but they can be critical to increasing land resilience to flooding, improving water quality, and promoting biodiversity. In addition, healthy forests support rural economies by providing good-paying jobs across the tourism, recreation, logging, and forest-product sectors. As such, Farm Bill programs that support innovation in wood products and efforts that make forest restoration more successful are key to promoting rural prosperity. I look forward to hearing from our witnesses about what is working and where we need to make adjustments to farm bill programs to protect the health of our forests, grow rural economies, keep Americans in good jobs, and combat the climate crisis.

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