U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue visited Arkansas this week to sign a Shared Stewardship Agreement with Governor Hutchinson. Arkansas is the first southern state to join one of these agreements, and it will facilitate healthy forest management by giving local land owners the ability to work closely with the Forest Service. Secretary Perdue also hosted a roundtable discussion with agriculture producers, where we discussed trade and the recent flood damage. I was pleased to have the Secretary in Arkansas this week and look forward to working with him further.
Following the Secretary's visit, U.S. Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen joined me for a tour of the Ouachita National Forest, which spans more than 1.8 million acres in Arkansas and Oklahoma. We made four stops on our tour: the Albert Pike Recreation Area, Walnut Grove Church in Jessieville, the Red Cockaded Woodpecker/ Shortleaf Pine/ Blue Stem Grass Restoration Project and Avant Mining quartz mines. It was great to show Chief Christiansen part of my district and discuss what we can do to help improve policy in our USFS land. I thank her for visiting and taking time to spend in Arkansas' Fourth District.
I will be back in Washington, D.C. on Monday for legislative business. This month has given me so many opportunities to meet with constituents, and I'd like to thank everyone who took time to make this work period informative, engaging and productive. Each stop offered insight that will help me better serve you in Congress.