U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue was in Great Falls Thursday for an “agriculture summit” hosted by Senator Steve Daines. Perdue promised big changes at the U.S. Forest Service, which his department oversees.
Former Georgia Governor Sunny Perdue has only been Agriculture Secretary for five weeks. He told the crowd of mostly farmers and ranchers that where he comes from, trees are a crop that can be sustainably harvested.
"We've got a lot of U.S. Forest [Service] land that's not healthy. Part of that's budgetary, part of that's ideology and litigation and NEPA [National Environmental Policy Act] regulations that we've got to get straightened out," Perdue said.
The ag secretary said President Trump is already making that happen, and there's more to come.
"We're not going to roll over every time someone says 'boo' about us wanting to harvest timber to make a healthy forest," Perdue said.
So far an undersecretary for natural resources and environment who will be in charge of the Forest Service at USDA, has not yet been named.