74
      Thursday
      94 / 72
      Friday
      93 / 73
      Saturday
      88 / 70

      Foresters want lawmakers to get rooted in SC tree future

      The tree enthusiasts Wednesday hoping that lawmakers will get deeply rooted about the future of trees across the Palmetto State.

      COLUMBIA (WACH) -- Tree farmers and foresters spending Wednesday morning at the Statehouse.

      The tree enthusiasts hoping that lawmakers will get deeply rooted about the future of trees across the Palmetto State.

      Members of the South Carolina Tree Farm Program say South Carolina??s wood and wood products are exported to the tune of a billion dollars every year, and that forestry makes up about 90,000 jobs in the state.

      Members of the group say they need lawmakers to help in strengthening the state's role in global wood demand.

      ??We need them to support the budgets of the agencies that are critical to the management of our national resources. The Forestry Commission, The Department of National Resources and Clemson Extension. We need them to increase the infrastructure spending for things like bridges,?? says Ken Leach, Forester.

      The groups says infrastructure funding needs to be increased to improve the 416 load-restricted bridges and the 472 structurally deficient bridges, which hinder efficient transportation of South Carolina grown forest products.They also want weight limits on trucks carrying wood to be raised to 90,000 pounds.

      Officials believe this move will position South Carolina to be more competitive with neighboring states.