9:09 PM EDT

Jaime Herrera-Beutler, R-WA 3rd

Ms. HERRERA BEUTLER. With that, I urge my colleagues to join in this bipartisan, bicameral effort to protect jobs and protect our forest health.

I urge adoption of the amendment, and I yield back the balance of my time.

The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from Washington (Ms. Herrera Beutler).

The amendment was agreed to.


The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 3 printed in part B of House Report 113-117.

9:10 PM EDT

Chris Gibson, R-NY 19th

Mr. GIBSON. I thank my friend for yielding, and I am honored to join with him in support of this amendment. And I would say to my good friend from Pennsylvania, absolutely, and I believe I speak for my friend Mr. Garamendi as well, we think the program is working very well. We think it can work even better.

[Time: 21:10]

We've got land trusts in my area of upstate New York that are highly confident. In fact, you know, I'll tell you that they played a major role in preparing me for this farm bill. I'm thinking of Teri Platchek out in Washington County, and Peter Paden from Columbia County at the Columbia Land Conservancy, and Ned Sullivan and Andy Bickening with the Scenic Hudson, Becky Thornton, Duchess Land Conservancy.

These are folks that are passionate about finding that nexus between agriculture and tourism where conservation plays a key role; and, you know, their insight to me helped me influence this farm bill. They're ready to step up and be more involved. That's going to help.

As my friend from California said, it's going to help us use our money in even a more efficient manner and to reach out more in this program.

So I urge support of this amendment. This only allows States the authority. You know, it really empowers States to make this decision. I think it's a good choice, and let's do it.

9:10 PM EDT

Glenn "G.T." Thompson, R-PA 5th

Mr. THOMPSON of Pennsylvania. Mr. Chairman, I just note that my good friend from New York--and I appreciate his passion on this--but the organizations you named already have opportunities under the Community Forest Program.

And we have two rather unique programs, one that already, well, as of the last farm bill that was done in 2008, provides the opportunity for nongovernmental groups to be able to participate.

I continue to reserve the balance of my time.

9:13 PM EDT

Glenn "G.T." Thompson, R-PA 5th

Mr. THOMPSON of Pennsylvania. Mr. Chairman, let me restate again, I recognize there's two different programs. There is one program that was created in 2008 that nongovernmental programs can participate in.

There's not capacity within the Forest Legacy Program, Mr. Chairman, to add nongovernmental programs in. It is specifically designed for partnering with States to preserve forest lands that are threatened by development.

And just as a reminder, over the last 3 years, USDA's only been able to fund roughly a quarter of those funding requests at this point, and by extending this would not serve a purpose.

I continue to reserve the balance of my time.

9:13 PM EDT

John Garamendi, D-CA 3rd

Mr. GARAMENDI. I wish we had time to sit down and talk about this. It's really a shame that we're here on the floor at this moment. Really, I think, both of us are in support of protecting our forests, of enhancing their ability to continue to produce jobs, the food, the fiber and the wood that we need in our economy and in our society.

We're not very far apart. If there's something here that needs to be worked out between these two programs, I'm sure we could do it. But this really gives us an opportunity to really do what I think all of us want, and that is to preserve our forests, keep them in operating production, and allow the nonprofits to participate together with the States.

I yield back the balance of my time.