WY, SD congressional delegations urge USFS not to reduce Black Hills National Forest timber sale program
WASHINGTON — Congressional delegations from both South Dakota and Wyoming joined together in opposition of the U.S. Forest Service’s recommendation to reduce the timber sale program in the Black Hills National Forest.
South Dakota Senators John Thune and Mike Rounds, along with Rep. Dusty Johnson and Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, wrote to the USFS on Wednesday to express their concern that a reduction in the sale program would have a detrimental impact on the ability to manage forests in the Black Hills and local communities. Additionally, the delegation cited a lack of collaboration between the USFS and stakeholders in the Black Hills in analyzing Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) data and using it to develop a plan going forward.
The delegation writes, “To continue successful management and care of the BHNF, we urge the USFS to substantially increase involvement from the states of South Dakota and Wyoming, local county commissions, and other stakeholders who stand to be most affected, including the forest products industry, in discussions of the BHNF timber sale program and forest planning.”
A request was also made to implement recommendations from the Black Hills National Forest Advisory Board, including maintaining the timber sale program at 181,000 ccf sawtimber and 21,000 ccf of five to nine inch trees, as well as providing the resources needed to accomplish that.
The Black Hills National Forest Advisory Board recently recommended that the timber sale program not be reduced below the allowable sale quantity currently outlined in the forest plan.
Full text of the letter can be read online here.