Washington, D.C. – Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) applauded today’s decision by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) to recognize the Colville National Forest (CNF) by providing $968,000 in funding for the CNF’s restoration efforts. For years, the CNF has led the nation as a model for successful forest collaborations, but until today, federal funding has been elusive. As a result, disease and bug infestation have plagued the forest and infrastructure has not kept pace with viable working levels. Rep. McMorris Rodgers has been a strong supporter of the CNF’s management program and a champion for federal funding.
“This is great news for the Colville community and a testament to CNF’s excellent management program,” said Rep. McMorris Rodgers. “The Northeast Washington Forestry Coalition, in particular, has been indispensable in our efforts to protect and improve the forest. I’ve been proud to work with them and other regional leaders, and through collaboration and teamwork, we’ve achieved remarkable success. Now with the Forest Service’s decision, we can build on that success.”
The CNF covers 1.1 million acres in Eastern Washington. First recognized as a Model/Proof of Concept Forest in 2008, the CNF has consistently earned the respect of foresters across the nation. In recent years, the CNF has been selected among the top forests for consideration in the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program (CFLRP).
Rep. McMorris Rodgers has written several letters to federal officials urging CNF’s participation in CFLRP. The most recent letter was sent in December 2011.
The USFS decided today to fund three projects that were CFLRA-worthy out of its own budget. CNF was one of them.
“I appreciate the Forest Service stepping up on behalf of the people of Eastern Washington,” said Rep. McMorris Rodgers. “This definitely builds confidence going forward.”