Society of American Foresters CEO Matt Menashes Comments on the Release of President Trump’s Proposed Fiscal Year 2018 Budget

May 26, 2017

America’s forests can be the building blocks for thriving communities across the nation, particularly rural communities — spurring innovation and energizing local economies. SAF is pleased that the Administration recognizes the value of the Forest Inventory and Analysis Program and its critical role in understanding America’s natural assets. However, the steep reductions in forest management funding for USDA Forest Service and DOI Bureau of Land Management overlook the opportunities to leverage those dollars and attract investment in these vital resources. 

We are particularly concerned that cuts to State and Private Forestry, Forest Research and Development, National Forest System programs, and BLM Oregon and California Grant Lands will harm the present and future value of our natural resources, and the nation's more than 11 million small private forest landowners. We are also concerned about the significant reductions for McIntire-Stennis research funding, Renewable Resources Extension Act projects, and elimination of USDA’s rural economic development efforts. These reductions and eliminations threaten to hinder communities’ ability to realize the full potential of America’s forests. 

We look forward to working with Congress to ensure that the enacted budget better reflects the challenges and opportunities facing our forests, and making sure forestry and natural resources professionals are positioned to help grow the American economy.