TFA Opposes Neches River Wild, Scenic Designation
The Texas Forestry Association, which represents forest landowners, loggers and the Texas forest products industry, says it is against a proposal to protect the Neches River in East Texas under the National Wild & Scenic River Act.
In a news release, TFA Executive Vice President Ron Hufford says designating the Neches River as wild and scenic “is not in the best interest of landowners and would have devastating effects on the forest industry and surrounding communities.”
Hufford says “Once a river is designated as wild and scenic the federal government, and not state and local government, is in control of the river … because the act clearly states that nothing shall preclude the use of condemnation when necessary to provide the public access to the river.”
Hufford says this would put major limitations on agricultural and forestry practices, and strangle the forest products industry and the economic growth of the entire East Texas region.
U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison has introduced a resolution calling for a federal feasibility study of designating the Neches as “Wild and Scenic.” The study has not been done, yet, and it may or may not ever come to pass, but TFA and the Texas Farm Bureau are both opposed to it.