Aug 26, 2011 Issues: Economy and Jobs

Cloudcroft, NM (August 26, 2011) Congressman Steve Pearce will participate in Otero County’s emergency tree cutting plan on September 17, 2011. Cutting will take place on one acre of the Lincoln National Forest near Cloudcroft in efforts to clean up the forest and decrease the spread of fires.

“This is an important day for New Mexico,” said Pearce.  “I look forward to joining in this effort to restore common-sense forest management to New Mexico. It has been an uphill battle to begin logging again in New Mexico, but September 17th will mark the beginning of increased public safety and local environmental resource management. Fires have devastated overgrown forests, and it is time to take back our forests and protect our families. I commend the Otero County Commissioners for their efforts to bring the power back to local government.”

The Otero County Commission voted in June to create an emergency plan, allowing the county to forego U.S. Forest Service policy and cut trees in the event of an emergency. They created an 80,000-acre plan that calls for responsible management to protect local watershed and prevent fires that have threatened Cloudcroft for many years.

Otero County Commissioner Ronny Rardin has spearheaded efforts to thin the forest around Cloudcroft. “This is not just about a tree,” said Rardin. “It’s about the fact that our county has been in a declared state of emergency for quite some time now because of severe drought. Our forest has been overcrowded for too long. We are going to show the world what an acre of forest land should look like.”

The public is invited to attend the event, which will take place during Cloudcroft’s annual “Lumberjack Day” festivities at 12:00 noon on September 17th.