Senator Boxer: Jobs for Rural Communities
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
All areas of our nation continue to struggle with job losses and people who are struggling to find work. I am pleased to let you know that I recently joined several of my Senate colleagues in advocating for federal funding that could create new, good-paying jobs in rural areas of our nation.
I have joined in writing to President Obama asking that he prioritize increased funding for the U.S. Forest Service. We pointed out to him that from 1998 to 2008, the Forest Service budget was cut by as much as 40 percent. These cuts have resulted in a lack of forest management and a remarkable loss of jobs in many rural forest regions.
Secretary Vilsack recently outlined a program to restore our forests by restoring watersheds, investing in infrastructure, and managing the forest ecosystem health. Importantly, all of these tasks require workers, put to work in jobs that will hire local workers, in positions that cannot be outsourced. In part, our letter reads: “Funding for the Forest Service will put Americans back to work performing this much needed restoration.”
I am working every day to create jobs for Americans, and to restore our economic vitality. Increasing federal funds for the Forest Service is a sensible way to do this. Some estimates are that up to 30 new jobs can be created with every million dollars spent on restoration. This is a wise investment, not just to create jobs, but also to restore areas so long neglected. You can count on me to continue to work for these jobs in our rural communities.
U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer