Stauber Leads Forest Management Legislation to Enrich Wildlife Habitat and Increase Hunting Opportunities

July 20, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Pete Stauber (MN-08) introduced the Healthy Forests for Hunters Act, legislation to boost forest management for the benefit of hunting and recreating on our public lands.

Stauber’s legislation is included in the rollout of comprehensive forest management legislation titled the Resilient Federal Forests Act, led by Congressman Bruce Westerman, Ranking Member of the House Natural Resources Committee.

Of this legislation, Congressman Stauber stated, “Northern Minnesota and the rest of the country is blessed with millions of acres of national forest lands providing opportunities to hunt whitetails, ruffed grouse, turkeys, gray wolves, black bears, and so much more. However, this blessing requires proactive forest management in order to prevent catastrophic wildfires and the loss of precious wildlife habitat. Right now, wildfires threaten forests in northern Minnesota and nationwide. Therefore, I am proud to offer a solution that will take necessary steps to preserve our forests and wildlife habitat, so Minnesota’s rich hunting tradition can continue for years to come while providing quality jobs for loggers in national forests.”

Ranking Member of the House Natural Resources Committee, Bruce Westerman stated, “Every year, the number of recording-breaking wildfires grows as we continue to neglect proper management of our forests. They are devastating to communities, economies, and critical wildlife habitats across America. Congressman Stauber’s Healthy Forests for Hunters Act would address how these wildfires interact with hunting lands, ensuring better wildlife habitat and recreation opportunities for sportsmen and women. I’m grateful for Congressman Stauber’s leadership on this issue and look forward to having this important bill be a part of the larger Resilient Federal Forests Act.”

Specifically, Congressman Stauber’s legislation creates two Categorical Exclusions that will strengthen wildlife habitat for the benefit of hunting and recreating:

  • A Categorical Exclusion that allows for the management of early successional forests, which are young undergrown areas like thickets or shrubby undergrowth that are loved by wildlife.
  • A Categorical Exclusion that allows for the management of forested areas around campsites, forest infrastructure, or other resources needed for recreating on national forest land.