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Bush to Eliminate Economic Action Programs

Once again Bush is trying to eliminate funding for collaboration and sustainability. Help us stop him.

Bush's Fiscal Year 2006 Budget Proposal eliminates both the Economic Action Programs (EAP) base program and the EAP National Fire Plan.

Congress has restored funding for EAP in past years despite the Administration's proposals to eliminate funding.
Please urge Congress to restore funding for EAP once again in its FY 2006 budget.


WHY WE NEED TO SAVE THIS PROGRAM
  • EAP creates opportunities for collaboration.
  • EAP has a 15-year track record of success in building the foundation for forest restoration and community collaboration.
  • EAP helps rural communities diversify their economies so they are not as reliant on timber harvest. EAP provides critical financial and technical resources.
  • EAP leads to community self-reliance and sustainability.
  • EAP funds are matched with non-federal funds and the sweat equity of hard working community members. EAP has leveraged $10 in non- federal funds for every federal dollar invested.

    WHAT YOU CAN DO

    Letters to the House are the most effective way for us to be heard. The Gifford Pinchot Task Force is faxing letters to Taylor and Dicks.
    Please fax letters to
    (503)221-2146
    or mail them to:
    The Gifford Pinchot Task Force
    917 SW Oak Street, Suite 410
    Portland, Oregon 97205 .

    Sample Letter to House

    The Honorable Charles Taylor
    Chair, Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Subcommittee
    Committee on Appropriations
    House of Representatives
    Washington, DC 20515

    The Honorable Norman B. Dicks
    Ranking Member, Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Subcommittee
    Committee on Appropriations
    House of Representatives
    Washington, DC 20515


    April 28, 2005
    Honorable Mr. Taylor and Mr. Dicks:

    I am a (conservationist, teacher, student, etc) and live in Portland, Oregon, and I am very concerned that all funding for the Economic Action Programs has been zeroed out in the President's budget proposal for FY 2006.

    Please help reinstate the Economic Action Programs at $40 million dollars for the base program, and $12.6 million for the National Fire Plan EAP for the FY 2006.

    EAP is the most effective mechanism to help rural public land communities transition to a restoration-based economy and rebuild a talented workforce capable of adding value to the wood removed during restoration projects. Stevenson, Washington is a fantastic example of a community that has utilized EAP to diversify its economy and job base.

    EAP funds are matched with non-federal funds and the sweat equity of community members. EAP has leveraged $10 in non-federal funds for every federal dollar invested.

    Most importantly, the loss of EAP threatens irrevocable damage to the progress that is being made in developing a national consensus on the need for restoration on public lands.

    We appreciate the efforts of Congress to reinstate support for EAP over the last few years, and we hope that you will take similar action again this year. Thank you for your continued interest in and commitment to these issues.

    Sincerely,

    And call your Senators. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) has been a leader on this issue. Please call him to thank him. Please ask Senator Smith (R-OR) to take a leadership role on this issue by fighting for the reinstatement of the Economic Action Programs.

    Senator Wyden: 202-224-5244

    Senator Smith: 202-224-3753

    Or the Capitol Switchboard: 877-762-8762

Yeay for friends of gp 28.Apr.2005 06:13

tree hugger

spend our money decommissioning roads instead of sending our old growth overseas! you have my letter.

More info 28.Apr.2005 07:09

USFS

Thanks friends for your post. Here is some more info on EAP from the Forest Service

About Economic Action Programs

Economic Action Programs - A Suite of Programs for Integrating Natural Resource Managment and Rural Community Assistance

Key Points:

  • Two of every three rural counties are highly dependent on natural resource-based earnings. Over 75 percent of rural counties are experiencing population growth and related changes.
  • Economic Action Programs help rural communities:
    - Create and expand natural resource-based businesses, focusing on those which contribute to forest health and resource stewardship, as well as those working towards stronger tourism and amenity-based opportunities;
    - Overcome lack of resources to diversify local economies;
    - Implement forest products technologies and increase commerical use of small diameter and woody biomass;
    - Meet challenges of unplanned growth and wildland/community interface; and
    - Build leadership and social infrastructure.

    No other federal programs are directed at helping forest-based communities build their capapcity for self-development and appropriate economic diversification. Due to the Forest Service's presence in rural places and the Agency's ability to build working relationships, expand practical networks, leverage funds and knowledge, and transfer diverse technologies to solve problems and enhance opportunities, the requests for EAP technical and financial assistance continues to grow.

    In FY 2004, Economic Action Programs (EAP) assisted over 1,725 forestry and natural resource-based rural communities to strengthen and diversify their economies, including over 800 which have completed community strategic plans aimed at building skills to address social, environmental, and economic changes. Over 385 rural communities were helped in dealing with wildland urban interface (WUI) issues via funded projects and numerous local community protection planning efforts. In addition to directly serving the rural communities, EAP provided assistance to more than 2090 organizations which also provided assistance as Forest Service delivery partners. A significant unmet demand exists for both technical and financial assistance through the Economic Action Programs.

    Current Focus on:

    • Communities (particularly in western states) needing assistance in their efforts to reduce hazardous fuels via market-based solutions for the use of small diameter woody material.
    • Organizations and small businesses needing technical assistance and "seed money" to initiate value-added and secondary processing enterprises in communities.