Federal-State Cooperative Forestry Programs Statement on Signing H.R. 11777, H.R. 11778, and H.R. 11779 Into Law.
I have approved the enrolled bills H.R. 11777, H.R. 11778, and H.R. 11779, providing for updated and broadened programs in cooperative forestry, forestry research, and forestry extension education.
The three acts were developed through the cooperative efforts of State forestry agencies, State extension services, forest industries, conservation organizations, forestry schools, and Members of Congress working with the Department of Agriculture. The American Forestry Association through its sponsorship of an "areas of agreement" committee achieved agreement among diverse interests on key provisions. I recognize that the acts represent a consensus within the forestry community.
H.R. 11777 provides for technical assistance, cost-sharing, and resource protection programs for non-Federal forest lands, to be carried out through cooperative arrangements with State forestry agencies. It consolidates nine different programs in seven authorities into a single authority. It includes a provision allowing Federal cooperative forestry funds to be consolidated, so that each State will have more flexibility in targeting forestry programs to the specific needs and priorities of the States. I expect the Secretary of Agriculture to coordinate rural fire activities conducted under this act with the Secretary of Commerce, who has overall responsibility for general fire prevention and control activities.
H.R. 11778 modernizes and expands the 50-year-old forestry research program, providing more specific authority to meet current and future research needs. The bill provides an appropriate link to other agricultural research programs authorized by Title XIV of the Food and Agriculture Act of 1977.
H.R. 11779 expands the renewable resources extension program in cooperation with State Extension Services to provide private forest landowners with education and information about managing and using forests, rangeland, fish and wildlife, water, and other renewable resources.
These bills do contain more features which we have objected to previously-the urban forestry assistance program, the establishment of a separate rural fire emergency disaster fund, and a separate appropriation for forestry extension. While I maintain my previous position on these issues, I do not believe their presence in these otherwise worthwhile acts justifies my disapproval of the acts.
I have approved these three bills because they provide the necessary means for the Federal and State Governments and universities to cooperatively aid forest landowners and others. The bills are compatible with the policy and direction contained in my May 23, 1977, environmental message.
Note: As enacted, H.R. 11778 and H.R. 11779 are Public Laws 95-307 and 95-306, respectively, approved June 30, and H.R. 11777 is Public Law 95-313, approved July 1.
Jimmy Carter, Federal-State Cooperative Forestry Programs Statement on Signing H.R. 11777, H.R. 11778, and H.R. 11779 Into Law. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/247687