From the Office of Commissioner Andy Tobin      
  For Immediate Release | 1-16-18      
  Media Contact | Holly Ward      
  Direct | 602-542-3847      
  E-Mail | hward@azcc.gov      
         
 
Commissioner Andy Tobin asks Arizona’s U.S. Senators to Extend Stewardship Contracting Term Limits
 
 

PHOENIX — On January 11, 2018, Commissioner Andy Tobin sent a letter urging Arizona Senators Jeff Flake and John McCain to propose and advocate for the inclusion of Section 506 “Extension of Stewardship Contracting Maximum Term Limits” of H.R. 2936 “Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2017” in federal legislation. This amendment would extend stewardship contracts from 10 years to a maximum of 20 years which would eliminate a significant barrier to our timber industry.

Commissioner Tobin’s letter follows a recent workshop held by the Corporation Commission to discuss the use of forest bioenergy as a renewable energy source to prevent catastrophic wildfires in Arizona.

“The timber industry is desperately needed in Arizona currently due to our state’s forest management crisis which is ravaging our forests, our infrastructure, our state funding, and most importantly, our local communities,” said Commissioner Tobin. “The overgrowth happening every day in our forests is turning them from naturally sustainable ecosystems to dry, overgrown tinder boxes waiting for unhealthy and catastrophic wildfires that would never occur if it wasn’t for human over paternalism.”

Since 2002, 22 lives have been lost, 1,070 buildings have been destroyed, and 5,213,211 acres have been claimed due to catastrophic wildfires. Tobin states these fires have been fueled by larger volumes of trees, which were not present before Arizona was conceived as a state in 1912. Due to overregulation and protectionism, our state’s forest size has multiplied which in turn has overburdened groundwater aquifers, affected crucial wildlife like the Arizona antelope, and increased the dry forestry so often causing the ignition of these unhealthy fires.

“With the extension of stewardship contracts, timber industries would be able to participate once again in our state by beginning to thin our overgrown forests down to a level that was naturally occurring before our state was founded,” said Tobin. “This effort must be one that is multifaceted to truly solve the issue for the whole state. If only one actor or stakeholder is tasked with the responsibility of thinning the forest then our forests will continue to burn unnaturally and cripple our state even further.”

Commissioner Tobin’s letter is available at the following link: http://bit.ly/2rd3Nki.

 

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About us:
The Arizona Corporation Commission was established by the state’s constitution to regulate public utilities and business incorporation. The five Commissioners elected to the Corporation Commission oversee executive, legislative, and judicial proceedings on behalf of Arizonans when it comes to their water, electricity, telephone, and natural gas resources as well as the regulation of securities, pipeline, and railroad safety. To learn more about the Arizona Corporation Commission and its Commissioners, visit http://azcc.gov.