WHEREAS, Missouri's forests are a major contributor to the state economy through tourism, harvest of timber, and forest products; and
WHEREAS, management of timber resources and expansion of timber and forest product value is a critical element of the long term success of the industry and economic health of the state; and
WHEREAS, nearly 35,000 Missourians derive their employment directly from wood products, drawing nearly one-half billion dollars in compensation annually; and
WHEREAS, 85 percent of Missouri's 14 million forested acres are owned by private landowners; and
WHEREAS, Missouri's 1,000 tree farms, encompassing over 325,000 acres, contribute to the $3 billion in economic activity in the wood industry; and
WHEREAS, coordination of state resources and industry expertise will help grow both the demand for, and supply of, Missouri wood products while balancing the stewardship of forest lands and preserving the state's natural resources.
NOW THEREFORE I, BOB HOLDEN, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF MISSOURI, by the power vested in me by the laws and the Constitution of the State of Missouri do hereby order and direct the creation of the Forest Utilization Committee within the Missouri Department of Conservation.
The purpose of the Committee shall be to:
- Facilitate development of a coordinated network among state agencies, universities and associations to document, evaluate, and monitor the economic' contribution, environmental impact, and potential of the forest products industry;
- Develop a strategic roadmap for growing the value of the state's forest products industry and maintaining the state's valued natural resources;
- Identify specific opportunities for public-private and interagency partnership in the development of forest products industry.
The Committee shall be composed of sixteen members, one member to be a member of the Missouri Senate to be appointed by the President Pro Tern of the Senate, one member to be a member of the Missouri House of Representatives to be appointed by the Speaker of the House, one forest landowners representing small forestry holdings with owners of less than two hundred acres of timber and one representative of large forestry holdings with greater than two hundred acres of timber, one representative from the Resource Conservation and Development Councils, one representative from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, one representative of the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service's North Central Forest Experimental Station, one representative from the University of Missouri's School of Natural Resources, one representative of the Society of American Foresters, one representative from the Missouri Department of Conservation's Division of Forestry, one representative of the Missouri Forest Products Association, one representative of the Missouri Department of Agriculture Business Development Division, one representative of a large-volume active sawmill and one representative of a small-volume active sawmill, one member from a major agriculture lending agency, and one member from an environmental protection public interest group. Each member of the committee shall serve until December 31, 2005. A chairman, vice-chairman, and secretary shall be elected by the membership of the committee to conduct the business of the committee.
Commission members shall be appointed by the Governor, except where noted, and receive no compensation but shall be reimbursed for actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their official duties on the commission.
All state agencies shall cooperate with the Committee in carrying out its duties, including allowing access to closed records, provided that the Committee shall not disclose any identifying information contained in such records closed pursuant to statute or general order and any such information in the custody of the Committee shall not. be discoverable to the same extent as when in the custody of the parent agency.
The Missouri Department of Conservation shall coordinate available resources to provide all necessary staff and support services and shall secure payment of all costs required by the commission to hold commission meetings, to maintain records of official acts, and to conduct all other business of the commission. The commission shall meet at least twice a year and at any such time that it deems necessary. Meetings may be called by the chairperson or by a petition signed by a majority of the members of the commission. Ten days' notice shall be given in writing to such members prior to the meeting date. A simple majority of the members of the commission shall be present to constitute a quorum. Proxy voting shall not be permitted.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of the State of Missouri, in the City of Jefferson, on this 14th day of September, 2004.
[Bob Holden's signature]
[Matt Blunt's signature]
SECRETARY OF STATE