Today, Rep. Dan Benishek (MI-01) supported H.R. 2394, the "National Forest Foundation Reauthorization Act of 2015," which passed the House by voice vote. The National Forest Foundation uses federal dollars as a match for private donations from individuals and companies to restore and enhance national forests and grasslands. Since 2001, the National Forest Foundation, with its private partners, has restored and maintained over 14,000 miles of trails and treated over 80,000 acres for invasive plant species, in addition to restoring over 115,000 acres of wildlife habitat.
"This bill reauthorizes a critical program for our national forests that will allow a public-private partnership to open these forests to economic opportunity while still preserving their environmental integrity," said Dr. Benishek, a member of the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committees.
Michigan's First District is home to three national forests. Each year, the Michigan forest products industry generates about $1.3 billion in economic activity. From biomass facilities to pulp and paper mills, this industry creates numerous jobs throughout Northern Michigan.