WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon Congressman Bob Smith, Chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture, today announced a diverse group of witnesses who will testify at the committee's upcoming hearing on forest ecosystem health in Sunriver, Oregon on January 16.
Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber (D), James R. Lyons, Agriculture Undersecretary for Natural Resources and Environment, and U.S. Forest Service Chief Michael Dombeck are scheduled to testify, as are forest supervisors, scientists, environmentalists, and community leaders.
"I'm delighted with the quality and diversity of the witnesses we will have for this very important hearing. It's critical that we get a close, complete look at forest management and it's effect on the forest ecosystem, and that's what we're trying to do. This has to be an inclusive process, and I have labored to make sure that as many views are represented as possible. We have a limited amount of time, of course, but I'm confident that all sides, and as many viewpoints as possible, have been accommodated," Smith said.
"I expect that the Members at the hearing will benefit greatly and be truly educated by this process, and I'm grateful for the hard work and cooperation of all the witnesses who have committed their time and resources to be with us. Whatever their viewpoint, they are doing a public service," Smith said.
Chairman Smith represents Oregon's Second Congressional District - which includes most of eastern, southern, and central Oregon - in the U.S. House of Representatives. The district is home to ten national forests, and Chairman Smith has indicated that forestry will be a principal focus of the Agriculture Committee in the 105th Congress.