Hoeven: Forest Chief Commits to Visit North Dakota, Meet with Local Ranchers & Energy Producers

WASHINGTON – At a hearing of the Senate Interior and Environment Appropriations Committee this week, Senator John Hoeven secured a commitment from U.S. Forest Service (USFS) Chief Randy Moore to visit North Dakota and meet with local ranchers and other stakeholders. In particular, the senator:

  • Outlined the importance of maintaining multiple uses of the National Grasslands, including for grazing, energy production and tourism.
  • Stressed the need for the USFS to be good neighbors to the region’s livestock producers.
  • Highlighted efforts like the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Joint Chiefs program, an initiative that works collaboratively with landowners to support forest and grassland projects across public and private land.
    • Hoeven led efforts with Senator Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) to formally authorize the Joint Chiefs program.
    • During the hearing, Chief Moore agreed to support reauthorizing the program in the next farm bill.

“The Forest Service’s management policies for the National Grasslands has a tremendous impact on western North Dakota’s economy, particularly for ranchers and energy producers,” said Hoeven. “I appreciate Chief Moore’s willingness to visit our state, where he started his career with the Forest Service, and to meet with our grazers and energy industry. Doing so will help him understand the full importance of the National Grasslands to our state and support our efforts to ensure the Forest Service is a good neighbor.” 

North Dakota is home to 1.1 million acres of national grasslands, representing nearly one third of total grassland acres managed by the USFS. Accordingly, Hoeven has worked to ensure the agency consults with North Dakota stakeholders, including when advancing new policies that affect local livelihoods. Among other efforts, Hoeven led an effort with the North Dakota delegation in 2021 to ensure that grazers had adequate opportunity to give feedback to the USFS on new rangeland management directives.