State Representative Scott Dianda (D-Calumet) announced his opposition to a package of legislation aimed at deregulating the forestry industry today in his testimony before the House Regulatory Reform Committee, of which he is a member. The current regulations administered through the Registered Forester Program cost taxpayers a negligible amount of money while positively affecting the forestry industry, which is a major job creator in the Upper Peninsula.

“The forestry industry is one of my district’s largest job creators, and in a time when Michigan is just getting back on its feet economically, I cannot in good conscience support a package of legislation that could potentially hurt that industry,” said Dianda. “I was sent to Lansing to bring more jobs to the U.P., not take them away.”

The Michigan Forest Products Council has also spoken out against the bills, saying the Registered Forester Program provides a positive cash flow to the state of Michigan, guarantees landowners professional service when applying for various state programs and gives the forestry profession credibility. An analysis by the House Fiscal Agency supports the positive cash flow claim, showing that state revenue exceeds the cost of regulating foresters, which is only $6,193 biannually.

“I have always been a supporter of Michigan’s forestry industry because I know how important it is to our state,” Dianda said. “I will continue doing everything in my capacity as a legislator to protect Michigan jobs.”