Experts: Gianforte’s Corporate Forestry Bill is an “aggressive legislative assault” on Montana Forests
Helena—Today, the House of Representatives plans to debate the dangerous forestry bill co-sponsored by Congressman Greg Gianforte, which is a Washington DC mandate for Montana’s forests.
But don’t take our word for it; forest management experts from Montana and across the country have spoken out against the faulty logic behind this misguided and un-Montanan piece of legislation.
Dr. Norm Christensen, the founding dean of the Nicholas School of the Enviornment at Duke University and University of Washington professor of forest ecosystems Jerry Franklin agree that the bill Gianforte has spent months promoting is a sham: “Neither [the House or Senate version of this bill] would make our forests more resilient.” Instead, they argue, this legislation is “an aggressive legislative assault on our national forests and public participation.”
While Gianforte argues that this bill permits “management” that “doesn’t eliminate fires but it reduces the intensity and their abilities to spread,” Montana experts disagree. Andrew Larson, Associate Professor of Forestry at the University of Montana, contradicted Gianforte: "the implication that, if we do more logging, more vegetation management, more thinning, we won't have as many acres burned, and we won't be breathing as much smoke…that's just absolutely not true."
“Greg Gianforte’s complete disregard for Montana’s public lands and way of life is sickening,” said Nancy Keenan, Executive Director of the Montana Democratic Party. “In his brazen desire to sell Montana’s National Forests to the highest corporate bidder, Gianforte is again attempting to cut Montanans away from our greatest natural treasures.”
After promising to protect public lands during his political campaign, Gianforte has repeatedly broken his word to Montanans. He has voted to gut the Wilderness Act, sabotage the Antiquities Act, and has refused to take a position on the Administration’s proposals to shrink National Monuments across the country, despite sitting on the Subcommittee that oversees federal lands.