Members of the forest products industry are testifying on federal policies that affect them. Great Lakes Timber Professionals has organized a hearing that runs all day Friday and Saturday. The group’s Director Henry Shienebeck says the aim is to collect testimony to submit to Congress.
“Really for our association it’s about how do we get a combined message to Washington that says, this is what happens when you do rules and regulations without completely understanding and taking the local economy into account when you do this.”
Shienebeck says key topics will include local impacts resulting from federal forest policy and the level of cutting in national forests. Testimony will also address the so-called Boiler Mact rule that affects paper mill emissions.
“There’s been a lot of talk about management on the national forest and that type of thing. But yet we’re not seeing any more results than we have in the past. And we’re saying, wait a minute we’re losing jobs because you’re not doing this management.”
The hearing panel includes Senator Tom Tiffany, Michigan state Senator Tom Casperson, and several local officials. It’s open to the public, and being held at the Nicolet College auditorium. Shienebeck says U.S. Forest Service employees were invited to the hearing, but are not expected to attend due to furlough. The hearing panel will accept written public comment for the next two weeks.