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American Forest & Paper Association Applauds the President on Forest Plan

Press release from the issuing company

WASHINGTON, DC – W. Henson Moore, President and CEO of the American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA), praised today's announcement by President George W. Bush laying out an initiative to address the severe forest health crisis currently facing our nation's federal forests and rangelands. "We are pleased that President Bush is taking steps today to address our nation's critical forest health crisis," said Moore. "Today, there are over 190 million acres of public land at risk of catastrophic wildfire. The President's initiative gives federal agencies help to address the growing problem of our unhealthy federal lands." President Bush's proposal directs the Secretaries of Agriculture and the Interior, as well as the Chairman of the Council on Environmental Quality, to improve regulatory processes to allow for more efficient and timely decisionmaking, improving the results of efforts to restore forest health and reduce the risk of wildfire. President Bush also promised to work with Congress on legislation to ensure more effective and timely implementation of forest health projects and to aid in efforts to fulfill the promise of the 1994 Northwest Forest Plan. "For too long, federal land managers have been drowning in paperwork and red tape that have prevented them from being able to actively manage our imperiled federal forestlands," said Moore. "What the President has done today is to ask Congress and direct federal agencies to throw those land managers a lifeline to help restore our public lands to better health." AF&PA is the national trade association of the forest products industry. AF&PA represents more than 250 companies and related associations that engage in or represent the manufacture of pulp, paper, paperboard and wood products. The forest products industry accounts for more than eight percent of total U.S. manufacturing output, employs 1.5 million people and ranks among the top ten manufacturing employers in 46 states.