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tv   [untitled]    May 22, 2012 5:00pm-5:30pm EDT

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when there's maybe timberg going on in that area there would be more traffic. lots of times those are dormant. the vegetation grow uss -- grows up. let me know if this is a big deal. >> i candidly think they should focus their attention elsewhere because a properly managed forest road is a nonevent with respect to water quality. under virginia's bmpst that's going to manage the water quality in that voluntary way. on our farm, for example, we re-establish promptly any roads that are disturbed. a road by definition is to avoid random compaction. so you put your roads in a smart place. you design them properly with water bars. you use those roads when you need to and then you promptly re-establish a cover on them. and if you do those things and that's what most good stewards do and that's what the bmps
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encourage we have a nonissue with the point source and epa. >> thanks very much. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, gentlemen. i now recognize the gentleman from colorado for five minutes for questioning. >> thank you, mr. chairman, you're running a brilliant subcommittee hearing here. i'd like to thank our panel for taking time to be able to be here. mr. gurgen you spoke to something that speaks directly to my heart in the western united states in. my third congressional district in colorado on the western slope better than 70% of the land is either federal, state or tribal lands. a lot of the forest, 100,000 trees per day that you mentioned are falling in our forest right now are creating an incredible challenge in terms of maintaining healthy forests. in terms of the fire threat. could you maybe speak to, we're talking mr. burke was noting about water quality issues. if these forces burn, what type of impact is that going to have
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on water quality? >> that's absolutely devastating, sir. if you look at what happened after some of the big fires in colorado to the denver watershed in particular the costs are astronomical. those are individuals paying a great deal more in the city of denver because they're relying on water from other parts of the state to be clean and healthy. the fact of the matter is when these trees burn and the soil is scorched it doesn't hold the water, it doesn't filter the water and we have tremendous impacts on our reservoirs because they fill up with sediment. >> would it be accurate to be able to say if we do not folsom of the prescriptions mr. burke and others are speaking to now, to manage healthy forests, we can literally sterilize the stoil with high fire through these areas. when we're talking about protecting our water, protects our watersheds in the west where we have maybe 12, 14 inches of rainfall that comes in a total year, it is in the best interest
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of this country, the environmental protection agency, our states and our nation to actively manage these forests. >> there's no question, sir. absolutely. that is absolutely what we should be doing today. i would ask the congress and this committee to take a look at could we clarify parts of the healthy forest restoration act to ensure that the forest service can get this work done on an emergency basis as well. >> so, would you agree we just held a subcommittee hearing that i chaired out in colorado trying to get an actual answer to the point, is the bark beetle an imminent threat? >> there's no question. >> no question that it is an imminent threat. in the interest of this country, the forest service, the blm should be allowing the flexibility to be able to address this properly? >> absolutely. they have the skills to do it. the problem is the process. >> the process, that leads me back to mr. burke when you're talking about the regulatory
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compliance. you'll find this shocking, but across the board we continue to hear about overregulation, due politicstive regulation which is inhibiting our ability to make common sense decisions increasing costs. when we're talking about the forest, don't they actually filter water for us? isn't that one of the clean sources coming out. >> excuse me. that's correct. if you think again of the forest as our watershed it's accomplishing several things. it's allowing the water to proceed to streams and rivers gently and carefully but also filters it. on our farm, for example, under crp we have filter strips that are grassy areas that filter the nutrients before they reach the streams on our forested areas in compliance with many of the farm bill programs, again, not regulatory compliance, but incentive based voluntarily
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compliance, we are leaving forested buffers under the bmps which protect the water quality. i'll second your concern about fire. even though we speak for a group of private landowners. the health of the forest on federal lands is very important to us because we are your neighbor. and if a bug outbreak gets to roaring or if there's improper forest management on adjacent property there can be fire risk to us as neighbors to federal property. so forest health is important across the board and these farm bill programs are set to do that and should continue. >> great. i appreciate that. mr. swab you have some counterparts in colorado that share your concern, when it comes to some of the forest contracts. colorado you have one bill remaining in the state of contract and it's under receivership. we have 100,000 trees falling every day. creating a fire threat into our
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areas. biomass plants if they can be able to get the approval out of the forest service to move forward. do you have a recommendation in regards to how to be able to structure those contracts so that you can make your bids work so we can make healthy forests and we can be working with some common sense in terms of forest management. >> i personally have worked with the stewardship contracting system and it works really, really well. so i mean the easier you can make it to where your contractors are willing to place a bid on it as close to your markets and other things the better off you're all the way going to be. to simplify the contract to make it work for everybody would be super but really the biggest hurdle that we're experiencing is loggers trying to bid on federal contracts is getting the timber sale approved to begin with to get -- and to go through all the voirmal studies and the
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archaeological studies just the bureaucratic red tape that everybody has to deal with in order to put this valuable resource that this country owns on the marketplace to be able to be sold is a nightmare. and so if you could somehow increase feshtsy through the government bureaucracy side, i think we could be moving forward and stewardship contracting is a great way to do that. you're taking basically in essence two contracts and foeded them into one and you're taking a resource over here and applying it to needs over there whether it's road building or fire line creation or even if it's a call situation of getting beetle kills down and buffer strips around these beetle kills you can fold that into stewardship. making it simple and giving your foresters on the ground the ability to be able to make a decision and to follow through with those decisions will be crucial and able to solve these problems. >> just to jump in very quickly,
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you know, in many cases on the federal side it can take 18 month for the them to get a project done in some of these beetle areas. mr. burke has pine beetle problems in virginia. and we were talking just a little bit earlier he told me the trees that i have with pine beetles with were at the mill before the beetles woke up from the winter. that's what we need to be doing on our federal lands as well. >> thank you, gentlemen. >> i'll recognize the gentleman from florida for questioning. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. shhwab continuing on the note from my good friend from colorado. you had mentioned in your testimony our nations loggers are in trouble. in a research study complete bid the wood supply institute indicates that we have lost close to 40% of logging capacity here in the united states. i personally know many of these small family owned bys and know that they contribute greatly to
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communities where unemployment is still hovering between 15% and 20%. the united states is the world's largest consumer of forest products and we would prefer promoting job creation and economic stability here in the united states. could you quickly elaborate on the lay jor challenges you -- major challenges you face today in your industry because i know your family business. i know the impact you have on your community. and i know it's a sacrifice for you to be here. i certainly appreciate your presence. so just what are maybe one of the top two things that you feel are the biggest threat to you and your livelihood? >> today it's overregulation. we in the forest industry -- the logging side of the forest industry have tremendous amount of capital investment in our equipment. today to buy a new piece of equipment we're spending anywhere from $20 to $50,000 per
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unit just to comply with epa air regulations for our new diesel engines. what that's doing is increasing the cost of my increase, but not just that, i'm not getting anymore production out of that piece of equipment because of that in cost. uncertainty with the ninth circuit court ruling on water runoff across forth roads and calling that a point source pollution which is asinine, that is causing uncertainty in your industry where we have possibly new business development coming along or new markets developed. they want to know what this increased regulation is going to cost me. what's going to happen here. that's uncertainty. the other thing is access to the resource. the congressman from colorado mentioned that he has beetle problems in his forest. there are regions of this country where 80% of the land base in rural america is owned or managed by the federal
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government. we do not have access to those forests today as timber harvesters. to be able to manage that resource that doesn't cost this country anything to grow. it should be putting money into the coffers. i heard another congressman mention the first panel about where are we going to get the money from? how are we going to pay for these federal programs. gentlemen, you have the mungroing in the forest right now. it's time for us as americans to be able to go out there and harvest that resource that god put on that ground for us to harvest and enjoy and be able to put that money back into the coffers. most of the men at this table right here are not standing here with their hand out asking you for money. we're wanting to put money in the treasury. we want to create jobs. if you eliminate regulation from stifling our industry and you eliminate bureaucracy on trying to cut your -- our timber on federal lands i think that our
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industry could have a great chance of recovery in a quick way. >> touche, mr. shhwab. mr. holmes, i am familiar with your neck of the woods. you have some pretty nice deer hunting up there in the black belt. so my family enjoys your area. let me ask you being from alabama, talk about -- we've talked about the ninth circuit and what has occurred. it seems to me that the epa in many ways produces solutions that are looking for problems. and so tell me about your area. i know you're a couple hundred miles north of us. relating to that issue and even piggy back off of what mr. iswab has said. >> one of the other things that i would like to address that he said that i think would be beneficial to you, is in the
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south we also have a pine beetle. we have the southern pine beetle in the south. it has devastated us back in the 80s -- it really devastated us. he was talking about the cost-oiz his equipment and getting things done. in florida we had little pulpwood trucks and in alabama pulpwood trucks with people getting out and take care of these small areas of southern pine beetle. i'm just wondering what's going to happen because we've already missed one cycle of pine beetles in the southeast. we're due for another big slam. what's going to happen when you call up mr. swab to bring in half a million dollars of equipment and cut 20 acres of pine beetle infestation. he's going to laugh at you. and i'm very worried about what
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is going to happen now because we had -- we had a small basis that could go in and cut out the areas and tend to that. we don't have that now. and it's going to be something to look at. but -- as mr. burke said, you know, our log roads, i have 4,000 acres of timber on my farm. the whole family's got about 18,000 acres of timbered land. we maintain our own roads. when we cut timber we try not to have large timber sales. it is -- we take out a retainer up front. they pay us an amount of money to make sure that our roads are re-established, our water bars are put back in. if there are any string crossings that are disturbed that are to be put back the way
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that they were. we can handle this in -- being in a water conservation districts we really speak a lot of being locally led. it's also a voluntary movement. with us having best management practices, having smz guidelines to go on. i see this as a nonissue. >> right. many of us do as well. >> just very briefly to echo this point. the chief of the forest service, the nation's chief foresters has said that voluntary and in some cases mandatory bmps are doing the job. i have the research data to back that up and be happy to provide the committee with that information. >> without objection. >> i would ask if that could be added to the record. >> absolutely.
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i think the real issue here is the national alliance of forest owners estimates that the cost could be almost $6 billion if this was a regulatory action that came down from epa. we know it's not necessarily epas fault. the courts are overzellous, et cetera. but $6 billion that we could be spending on improveling forest habitat for wildlife, improving it for people, improving it for water quality. there's much better use of money than on this regulation. thank you. >> thank you. i yield back. >> one final question for all the panelists who would like to weigh in on. the purpose of regulation the impact of overregulation is what my question is about. we talk about healthy forests and we talk about you have to manage a forest for it to be healthy. that means timberg, that means dealing with the fire load.
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that means preventing wildfires, that means managing the invasive species that have been mentioned here today. so whether it's overregulation as related to being declared as a point source, regulation in terms of road, the ninth sish cut with roads or just overregulation in general. we've talked about jobs. we've talked ability economic impact. i want to focus with my final question, a healthy forest. it has to be managed to be healthy. how devastating is overregulation to having healthy forests in this country? >> mr. chairman, it's very devastating. we have proven this industry as a whole nationwide has proven that we can create our best management practices ourselves. we can police ourselves. in florida where i'm from we're at 99% compliance to the best management practices that we put
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in place ourselves. we don't need the epa to come and tell us that our air quality coming out of our equipment that we're using to harvest the forest where the air is the cleanest is too dirty. we don't need the epa or the ninth circuit court coming and telling us that our roads that rain is a point source pollution running off a road. it's insane. and it is what it's going to cause is the economic advantage of going in here and doing the first time thinning or doing a clear cut on a stand that needs to be clear cut because it's a beetle infested or whatever it is to regenerate new growth is not going to be economically advantageous for us as an industry to go do this. so the forests are going to continue to fall in disrepair. fire hazards are happening. then your water quality actually will go down. so overregulation is what is stifling what we're doing as an industry.
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>> go ahead, please. >> just to follow up again on what he said. you know, about 30 years ago, i was perry county with an 8-year-old child and we were going on a logging road and i had a piece of ground flagged and my son says daddy what are you doing to do? what's going on? i said, son, we're going to clear cut this tract of timber right here. we were having an infestation of bugs. we lost a good many of the pine trees, a lot of them were over 100 years old from old fields that had grown back up into trees. so he starts crying because that's one of the places he liked to hunt. he killed his first deer there when he was 8 years old. i said, you know, son, trees are just like people. and i said we all have a lifetime. and to maintain a healthy forest
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and to maintain the beauty and the esthetics and the wildlife that you want to see, stiles we have to remove some of this. and i've seen it. i've been to alaska and i've seen the beetle outbreaks there. i've been to colorado and i've seen the outbreaks there. and we have got scientific proof, research done that shows that if we can keep the understory removed out from under some of this forest and we can keep a thinning on some of these trees that we have a healthier forest that provides abundance of wildlife, an abundance of water quality, the air quality and everything else. i sort of agree with mr. swab, why couldn't we do something about using those moneys that we as americans all have to take care of the needs that we have
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taken -- that needed to be taken care of and also have a healthier forest. >> go ahead, mr. burke. >> let me just share an example of where i think regulation with respect to roads would be negative as opposed to a more positive approach. if you required a road permit the cost would be significant. it would not benefit the land directly and you'll see why in a minute. it would simply be an additional cost which would make the cost on the landowners and the cost to the loggers more to conduct healthy forest harvesting and thinning. compare that to the voluntary incentive based lempl, if you will when farm bill money is put into the hands of private landowners. the private landowner adds his or her own additional money. they add sweat equity and they do practices which will last for a long, long time. those benefits give them
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significant leverage effect and provide much better forest protection. they provide better water quality protection, better fire management. so that's a much better approach than to regulate. >> thank you. mr. dye, did you have comments? >> regulations are meant to protect us from something, but if you look at the list of activities in the forest and what is regulated it has gone 180 degrees the other way because the regulations we have increased forest fires, increased bug outbreaks. a worsening economy. uncertainty for those that want to invest in businesses which leads to declining employment. so regulations to protect ourselves from has gone 180 degrees of its actual intent.
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>> very good. i want to thank all the members of the second panel. i want to thank you for your expertise. thank you for your experience and thank you for your endurance for joining us today. as you hopefully saw from the interest and the passion of the members of the subcommittee this subcommittee takes this responsibility very seriously. today we had an opportunity to obviously in this kind of final subcommittee hearing on the energy and forestry titles to get some excellent input and information our next step really is to write a farm bill. using the information that we have here. so we will be under the leadership of chairman lucas we'll be starting that process. certainly any additional resources we look forward to the
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data that you had talked about. but an open invitation to continue to forward any additional information you think would be helpful in that process. i think i speak on behalf of all the members of our committee to do our due diligence and preparation so we have the best possible farm bill for all the titles within the farm bill. so given that under the rules of the committee and the record of the hearing will remain open for ten calendar days to receive supplement material. this hearing of the subcommittee the conservation energy and forestry is adjourned.
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to find out more information on this committee or others check out c-span's congressional directory. also, cabinet members, supreme court justices and the nation's governors. you can get a copy for $12.95 plus shipping and handling. order it online at be sure to join us later today for more from book tv. it's author timothy gay will discuss his book "assignment to hell" about the history of american war reporting. that's live at 6:30 p.m. eastern online at >> there are people who look at what happened with j.p. morgan sapd tay they did something dumb. lost money. didn't collapse. fired the people who were responsible this is the market at work. this is how it's supposed to
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happen. why does government need to play a role. >> so some extent that's true and i take some credit for it. it's because government has played a role. if this happened five years ago i think you would have seen much more panic in the economy. i think you would have seen much more concern. what we did in the legislation we passed and through other things was to require the financial institutions to be much better capitalized. so one of the thing that's a result of the government telling them you have to have more capital than you would have had otherwise, that helped give people reassurance. >> this past weekend on c-span's news makers, congressman barney frank spoke about the over $2 billion loss by j.p. morgan chase as well as the state of the u.s. and world economies, the dodd frank law and gay marriage. watch his comments online at the c-span video library. at a briefing earlier today the pentagon refused to rule out that counterfeit parts in the
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military supply chain has had an impact on mission failure. a report released by the senate armed services committee found more than a million suspected koupt fit parts. pentagon spokesman george little said the defense department is continuing to look at the issue. this portion of the briefing is about 20 minutes. >> good afternoon. welcome back to the briefing room. last night the secretary return from the nato summit in chicago. he was pleased by the hospitality shown to him and enjoyed the opportunity to meet with his koun parts on nato capabilities, missile defense and of course, afghanistan. on that topic it's clear the alliance and our non-nato partners are moving together with the afghan government to support the stability of afghanistan for years to come. with that i'd like to turn to the united states and to our partners. next wednesday secretary panetta
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will depart on a week long trip to asia to participate in the shangrila dialogues among other things. let me give you a schedule overview and say a few notes about each country. on wednesday before departing for asia he'll final to honolulu. he'll receive briefings and meet with service members stationed in hawaii. from hawaii he'll head to singapore. on saturday secretary panetta will deliver opening remarks at the dialogues. while in singapore he is scheduled to meet with leaders from singapore, japan, the republic of korea, australia, and a number of ornations. le toing our stay in singapore, the secretary will travel to vietnam for a two-day visit. the united states has a long-term commitment to advancing a strong bilateral defense relationship with vietnam based on mule chal trust and understanding. this visit will afford us an opportunity to continue to work on that very important relationship. from there the secretary will travel from hanoi to delhi for a
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two-day visit to india. it's a priority for the united states government. and our bit lateral relationship is one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century for the united states. we'll have more details about the secretary's itinerary in the coming days. two other scheduling announcements. tomorrow secretary panetta, secretary clinton and chairman dempsey will testify before the senate foreign relations committee on the u.n. commission on the law of the sea. and then here in the briefing room at it can p.m. general john allen, commander ie saf will be here to brief you all on afghanistan. with that, i'll open it up to your questions, comments, concerns, other thoughts. >> i know that secretary panetta did not see the president. did he or any of the officials have any discussions with any of the pakistanis during the chicago summit to chat about you know what? >> the


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