"In Oregon, we're bracing yet again for another summer of catastrophic wildfire that will significantly pollute the environment and continue to destroy our forests, which used to be one of the state's most powerful economic engines," said Congressman Walden. "We also have the dubious distinction of being second only to Michigan in highest unemployment. This is simply unacceptable. Oregon and the Pacific Northwest should be the biomass capital of the world. Substantial financial resources waiting to be invested have been sidelined by a lack of certainty for a long-term biomass supply from our federal forests. It is high time to take decisive action and ensure a steady biomass supply from our overstocked forests. Our environment and our rural economies will greatly benefit, and badly need it."
"We need to take a new approach to forest management in America," concluded Congressman Baird. "Every year, we see the overwhelming majority of the Forest Service's budget literally go up in smoke. By researching these new practices and technologies, we could potentially better protect our forests from fire, and create thousands of jobs, and provide homes all across the Northwest with green, environmentally friendly energy in the process."