Maine Sen. Angus King is among a group of U.S. senators that is launching a new Senate Working Forest Caucus that is designed to protect jobs in the forest products industry.
King, an independent, says he is joining the 11-member caucus to elevate policies that promote and preserve working forests. He says private working forests support more than 2.4 million jobs in the country, including equipment suppliers and transportation workers.
Members say the working forest caucus will move forward policies that support forest management, restoration of national forest lands, and bring natural resources from the forest industry into the market.
Another member, Republican Sen. Jim Risch of Idaho, says more than 70 percent of the working forests in the country are privately owned by families.