Rounds Leads Legislation to Increase Timber Sales in the Black Hills National Forest
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) today introduced the Timber Harvesting Restoration Act, legislation that would require the United States Forest Service (USFS) to improve timber sales numbers in the Black Hills National Forest.
In recent years, timber sales in the Black Hills National Forest have steadily decreased. This has put a significant strain on manufacturers of timber products that rely on these sales. These businesses then have to bring in timber harvested further away, paying additional shipping costs. In addition, USFS has been unable to justify the harvesting shortfalls in the Black Hills National Forest.
“A well-managed forest is a healthy forest,” said Rounds. “The reduction in timber production in the Black Hills not only harms our businesses, but our forest as well. I’m pleased to be introducing this legislation that takes steps toward getting our timber production back up to normal levels.”
Specifically, the Timber Harvesting Restoration Act would:
Require superintendents of National Forest System (NFS) units (individual national forests) to submit harvesting improvement reports to the Secretary if they have historically fallen well below annual Allowable Sale Quantity (ASQ) numbers laid out in forest plans.
Require superintendent reports to identify any of the following actions: 1) forest areas that could be used to help meet harvesting targets 2) any actionable steps that may help meet harvesting targets, including expediting environmental review processes and increasing the use of Good Neighbor Authority when applicable.
Require superintendents to consult with private industry, advisory committees, local, tribal and state governments and relevant stakeholder groups when drafting improvement reports.
Require superintendents to submit improvement reports to the Secretary within 180 days of enactment of the Act.
Require superintendents to demonstrate actionable steps towards improving timber sale numbers within one year of enactment. If a forest supervisor does not increase timber sales from the preceding year, they will be required to submit another improvement report within 180 days after the actionable step deadline.
Direct the Secretary to allocate any available resources to an individual NFS if a superintendent does not demonstrate harvesting improvements one year after submitting a harvesting improvement report. This may include providing additional personnel, expanding the use of Good Neighbor Authority and finding any feasible actions to expedite environmental review processes.
China Creeps Closer By Rep. Dusty Johnson March 1, 2024
The surge of migrants coming across the southern border certainly isn’t news to many people. But, as the crisis rages on, more and more Chinese nationals are crossing our southern border illegally. In 2023, Customs and Border Patrol reported 37,000 Chinese nationals were encountered while crossing the border illegally. That’s 50 times more than in 2021. And many of them are doing so through the help of Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok. Viral videos share specific details and locations on where and how to cross the border, allowing thousands of unvetted people to enter our country with ease.
Other videos on TikTok solicit viewers in the U.S. to help smuggle drugs and migrants across the border. Sheriffs who work near the border encounter many situations like this and end up in dangerous, high-speed chases, some resulting in injury or death.
TikTok is a bad app, and many agree with me that it is malware from the Chinese Communist Party. It’s evident that TikTok and Douyin are only worsening the border security crisis and national security crisis.
On Monday, I visited the PURIS pea processing facility in Harrold. PURIS handles 8,000 bushels of peas each day and has created 14 good jobs in the community. I got to go behind the scenes of their operation and learned about the anti-competitive behavior China has been using to manipulate the markets. We’re asking the International Trade Commission to intervene and hold China accountable.
Do you know the frustration of having debt sent to collections when it isn’t your bill to pay? For many Native Americans who receive purchased and referred care through the Indian Health Service, this is all too common. Many patients receive care through the IHS and are referred to a specialist or another care facility that isn’t an IHS provider. IHS is required to pay the bills for approved referrals, yet 82% of over 800,000 claims were not reviewed, approved, or paid in accordance with federal law. These unpaid bills may then be sent to the patients. If left unpaid, they can end up in the hands of debt collectors. These patients are forced to decide between paying bills they don’t owe or taking a hit to their credit.
This issue can lead to financial struggles that can be hard to recover from. Today, I introduced two bills to hold IHS accountable for not paying the health care bills they owe to providers and to protect Native Americans’ credit from these wrongfully charged bills IHS is liable for. My bills seek to rectify this unfair negligence by the IHS.
I was given permission to let the cat out of the bag this AM today that long-time politico Kristi Golden is going to run for office as a candidate for District 9 House. Since her days doing press for Larry Pressler, Kristi has been involved in Republican politics and public affairs for decades, and is an absolute gem of a person. Which is good news!
In bad news, unfortunately, apparently now both of the main people behind last year’s attempt at book banning in the Brookings School District are running for the legislature. And they’re gathering petition signatures at a Brookings coffee shop where people go to study and read books.
And both book burners will be gathering signatures tomorrow at the Cottonwood Coffee Shop in Brookings, a popular spot for local high school and college students to study and read while they drink coffee.
So, stop and pause a minute, and think about this. Two of the main people who wanted to ban books from being read by students in Brookings are going to be gathering petition signatures in a place where students go to read.
If that’s actually true, seriously, after her performance the last time she was in Pierre, why would they send her?
Over the last 3 years of being in Pierre, she was 0-17 on her legislation. And when she was running for Congress, her performance was much worse:
I had a note from a legislator in the State Legislature who was noticing that when it came to voting on bills on the floor of the State House of Representatives, State Representative and Congressional wannabe Taffy Howard seemed to be more and more absent. As was noted to me “she is here today but seems to be nowhere to be found on occasion, specifically whenever we are voting on BOR issues.”
I’d also heard talk that she’d duck out to go do fundraising, etc. in connection with her Congressional campaign.
Reading that and having heard those rumors, I thought it would be an interesting research project to figure out if that was just a fleeting and possibly unfair impression from the other residents of the State Capitol. Or if she was just not there when she was supposed to be.
And here’s what I found. According to House Journals, out of about 377 recorded roll count votes in the State House of Representatives, there were 53 votes where Taffy was marked as “Excused.” Calculating it out, Taffy Howard missed 14% of the floor votes she was sent to Pierre to represent her District on.
And if you click on that link. you can review each and every bill she skipped voting on yourself. Not BS. Not Puffery. She skipped 14% of all floor votes in her last session to duck out for campaigning or to avoid challenging votes. And after session she also skipped casting a vote on impeachment.
Why on earth would ANYONE want to send someone with that kind of record to represent them in the State Senate in Pierre?
From the book of face, it looks like they far right is switching gears in District 8, as Rick Weible, who was running for House, is now said to be running for Senate by the gal who failed in that race last time;
Wasn’t Rick ‘the self-declared hero’ running for another office a while ago? He’s just running from his own accolades to new office so quickly! And now he’s running against State Senator Casey Crabtree.
I suspect Crabtree will let him down the easiest, as opposed to the two ex-sheriffs who might put handcuffs on him and investigate his background (just kidding). They might scowl at him too.
Flags at Half-Staff at State Capitol in Honor of Former State Legislator Burton “Burt” Elliot
PIERRE, S.D.– Today, Governor Kristi Noem ordered that flags be flown at half-staff at the State Capitol from sunrise until sunset on Saturday,April 20th, 2024, in honor of former state legislator Burton “Burt” Elliot. He represented Brown County in the South Dakota State House of Representatives from 2001-2008.
A memorial service for former state legislator Burt Elliot will take place at 11:00 am on April 20th, 2024, at the Plymouth Congregational UCC (431 W Melgaard Rd, Aberdeen, SD, 57401).
“[T]he Biden inflation crisis has made life harder for a lot of people. It’s harder to save. Harder to get ahead. Harder to make ends meet.”
WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) today spoke on the Senate floor about the harsh realities families are facing due to President Biden’s self-inflicted inflation crisis. Thune noted that President Biden’s misguided and costly economic policies have forced Americans to grapple with high prices, elevated interest rates, mounting debt, and shrinking savings.
First this morning, Doeden started out by declaring all republican elected officials bad, calling legislators and our federal delegation weak and compromised, claiming his new “conservative coalition” will change this.
After throwing out his bomb, a short time later, Doeden went further and posted his first endorsement, supporting State Rep. Fred Deutsch in the D4 Senate primary:
Somehow, I see Fred looking at that going something along the lines Gee, thanks, but I’m good. Real good. I’m just going to keep doing my thing over here...
I’m not sure I know of a lot of candidates who are actually looking for an endorsement of a clown who has never voted in a Republican primary, and whose own electoral ambitions collapsed after a few stones were thrown at his “Dumpster Fire” of a campaign effort.
But, who knows. It’s one of those years where nobody can guess what will be on the bingo card.