By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Tuesday, October 20, Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-Montrose) on Tuesday celebrated National Forest Products Week by highlighting the important impact forestry has on the economy in Southwest Alabama.
National Forest Products Week occurs on the third week of October each year and serves as a way to recognize the importance of forestry to the American economy. 68 percent of the total land area of Alabama is dedicated to growing timber. 120,000 Alabama jobs are related to timber production and processing.
Congressman Byrne said, “Those of us in Southwest Alabama have a great appreciation for the important role forestry has on our local economy. Our timberland owners are good stewards of the land who have made ecosystem maintenance and restoration one of their top priorities. From wood pallets to paper to plywood, our area has a proud tradition of producing critical forest products. As a consistent supporter of forestry, I will continue to be a strong advocate for the thousands of Alabamians who work in this vital industry.”
Congressman Mike Rogers (R-Saks) said, “As we celebrate National Forest Products Week (Oct. 19-25), we should be proud the United States is the planet’s #1 producer of wood and wood products. Timber is Alabama’s #1 agriculture-related job producer, and it brings in over $20 billion a year to our state!”
Congressman Byrne has supported legislation in Congress to help forestry: including HR2647, the Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2015. The legislation, which passed the House, would strengthen national forestry policy and help prevent forest fires. Congressman Byrne has repeatedly contacted federal agencies to express concerns about the impact regulations and endangered species listings would have on timberland owners.
The Assistant Commissioner of the North Carolina Forest Service and chair of the National Association of State Foresters Forest Markets Committee Scott Bissette wrote, “Our forests are renewable and vital resources when sustainably managed. From paper products such as food packaging and tissue paper, to lumber used for our homes and furniture, trees in our forests provide items we use every day. Strong markets for these forest products are needed to restore many of our forests and ensure they continue to be managed and are healthy for future generations. That’s why all Americans should support National Forest Products Week from October 18-24, 2015. The forest products industry contributes billions of dollars to the United States economy annually. Industrial shipments of the wood and paper manufacturing industry amounted to $240 billion in 2012 alone! According to the American Forest and Paper Association the forestry and forest products industries in the United States directly employ approximately 890,000 people, making this sector one of the most significant employers in American manufacturing.”
Forestry and agriculture remain the largest industries in the State of Alabama.
Congressman Mike Rogers represents Alabama’s Third Congressional District. Congressman Bradley Byrne represents Alabama’s First Congressional District.