In what may prove to be the most dramatic move in decades, a Senate committee voted last week to pass a bill that would give the timber industry its own piece of the federal forest bill, as well as make it easier for states to use the revenue to fund local projects.
The bill would also make it more difficult for states and localities to seek federal forest lands for other purposes.
The timber industry has been lobbying hard against the bill.
It argues it would drive up costs and that it would be less efficient to buy forest land than sell it.
But opponents of the bill say it would take away valuable federal land for state and local governments to build roads and schools.
The bill also would not allow the timber sector to benefit from an extension of federal lands for recreation or other purposes, but would give them some flexibility to do so.
“It would allow for more of the private sector to be able to purchase lands that they want, and would allow the states and the tribes to benefit more in terms of tax credits and things like that,” said Steve Jones, executive director of the Western States Council of Governments.
“We believe that this is a good thing for the timber and timber industry and we hope that our representatives will work with us to get this done.”
The bill now heads to the full Senate.
If the House approves it, it would go to President Donald Trump’s desk and would be signed into law by his successor.
The Senate would have 90 days to consider the bill, or a veto from Trump.
The House has yet to take up the bill and there are no plans to do either.
The Interior Department says the bill would make it “inherently difficult” for states or localities that want federal forests to buy them for other uses.
The Department of Interior, which oversees the forest and recreation programs, said in a statement that the bill “would have significant economic, fiscal and environmental consequences for the American public.”
The timber bill, sponsored by Sen. David Gabbard, D-Hawaii, is one of a few bills that could potentially save the timber companies that make their fortunes on the forest.
It would give timber companies a way to sell their timber to states for a fee.
It also would allow them to buy federal lands and to sell those lands at higher prices, and make it harder for timber companies to seek those lands for another purpose.
It’s the latest example of the administration working with lawmakers to protect forestlands, which is one reason the timber business has been so critical to Trump’s political success.
He won election with the support of timber companies and many rural Republicans, but has repeatedly expressed opposition to the logging industry, which he said is ripping up the environment.
Trump has said he wants to “build a great wall” between the United States and Mexico, and he has also proposed a new $20 billion fund to fight climate change, a proposal that has attracted much of the opposition of timber industry interests.
Gabbard’s bill, the Wilderness Act, is supported by a number of Republican senators and would provide for a national forest and other lands for timber logging and other logging activities.
The measure also would create an agency that would be charged with overseeing the timber trade and helping it comply with environmental laws.
The Forest Service would be allowed to buy more timber, and it would have greater oversight over logging and its impacts on the environment, the bill says.
The Wilderness Act is similar to the legislation passed by the House of Representatives in 2013, which called for the creation of a National Forest System.
That measure also called for greater oversight of timber logging.
The National Park Service would also be allowed “to purchase timber” under the bill but would have to spend the proceeds on programs like restoring and protecting endangered species.
The Forest Service has said it would consider the legislation.
The National Association of Timber Producers, the nation’s largest trade group, issued a statement saying the bill is important, but that it will have “minimal impact on the timber timber industry” because “there is no legislation in place for a National National Forest.”
The group called the bill the most significant environmental legislation in decades and said the Forest Service “must be more responsive to the needs of the timber supply chain.”
The Forest Trust, a conservation group, praised the bill for protecting the environment and the nation “and its economy.”
The forestry industry is one group that’s been pushing for the Forest Trust to act more like a state agency.
The forest industry’s lobbying efforts are well-documented, as is the fact that it’s often a one-person, one-vote operation.
The American Forest Council, a trade group for the industry, said the timber bill “is an important first step in achieving our stated goals of a sustainable forest economy, a robust federal forest system, and the protection of our natural resources for future generations.”
A recent report from the Center for American Progress and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities showed that