Press Release

Senator Gillibrand Fighting for New York’s Fair Share of Forest Research Dollars – Receives Commitment from Chairman to Address the Issue

Sep 28, 2009


U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition
and Forestry Committee, continued her fight to ensure New York State receives
its fair share of forest research dollars late last week. The Interior
Appropriations Bill has $2.1 million for Northeastern States Research
Cooperative (NSRC). This funding would be used to maintain critical forestry
research programs in New York State, including the SUNY-ESF which received
funding through this program in the past. The current
committee report lists only New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine, and does not include New York State. Late
last week, Senator Gillibrand received a commitment
from the Chairman Diane Feinstein (D-CA) to address this during conference and
allow New York State to access these funds.

original intent of Congress was to have all four states jointly funded by the
enacted authorization of this act,” said Senator Gillibrand. “Unfortunately,
New York has been left out of the Forest Service budget requests this year. The
NSRC’s research is critical to the economic vitality and quality-of-life in the
18.5 million acres of New York’s forested land.”

“I would like to thank my colleague for bringing this to my
attention and I will certainly look into this matter during conference
negotiations,” said Senator Feinstein.

Federal dollars for NSRC would enable New York and SUNY-ESF
to be a visible and powerful partner in NSRC with the ability to direct
research agendas beneficial to New York State. They would focus on enhancing
and rejuvenating forest-based regional economies.

Forest-based manufacturing provides thousands of jobs and
about $10 billion of annual shipments from New York State alone. New York’s Forest
Products Industry, the fifth largest manufacturing sector, employs more than
60,000 people and is critical to the region. The potential of wood-based
bio-refining technology and technology transfer to develop sustainable
industrial chemicals industry in New York would provide an economic boon to the
region.  Without costly retooling, the beleaguered Pulp and Paper Industry
could, in a relatively short time, be prepared to produce profitable and
environmentally safe plastics and chemicals from wood.  This NSRC
initiative would provide crucial commercial diversity in the industry while at
the same time help ensure low environmental impact and maintain the ecological
integrity and biodiversity of the northern forests.