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Washington, DC- U.S. Senator Jim Risch issued the following statement after President Obama today pledged $1 billion to preserve tropical forests in foreign countries. The president's commitment, which came at the Copenhagen Climate Conference, would be paid out over the next three years.

"The President's announcement to commit one billion dollars so other countries can manage their forests is offensive. First, America does not have an ‘extra billion dollars.' We would need to borrow it from the Chinese. Second, the President cannot make an appropriation commitment, only the Congress can appropriate. Third, our public forests here at home are in desperate need of restorative work and maintenance. That work includes watershed maintenance, fuel-load reductions and the eradication of a beetle infestation that plagues much of the West. We simply cannot send money to other countries so they can manage their forests when we lack the funding to take care of our own."