State forest group connects in D.C.
WASHINGTON — Forest Landowners Association board members from Arkansas were able to display their Capitol Hill connections last week when they met for the group’s annual winter board meeting.
Two members of the Arkansas congressional delegation addressed the gathering during a lunch in the Russell Senate Office Building, according to board member Pete Prutzman of Arkadelphia.
“It makes us as Arkansans look good to our peers on this nationwide board when Sen. [John] Boozman and Rep. [Bruce] Westerman [attend],” he said. “We’ve invited them. They’ve always shown up.”
Westerman, a University of Arkansas alumnus and Hot Springs resident, has a graduate degree in forestry from Yale University.
“Most of us on the board [from Arkansas] are in Westerman’s district and know him personally,” Prutzman said.
U.S. Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., also showed up.
The association’s board includes five Arkansans; four of them attended. Members from 11 states were on hand.
David Brazeale of Sparkman, Greg Hay of Conway and Mary Clapp of El Dorado were the other Arkansas board members on hand. Clapp’s son, Eric, made the trip as well, Prutzman said.
The Forest Landowners Association describes itself as the “only national representative of the economic interests of family forest landowners and their unique natural resources assets.”
The organization has roughly 3,000 members, according to Prutzman, a registered forester who also serves as president of Kingwood Forestry in Arkadelphia.