What People Are Saying About the Resilient Federal Forests Act

November 8, 2017
Blog Post

Last week, the Resilient Federal Forests Act (H.R. 2936) passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 232-188, including 10 Democrats in support. The bipartisan bill provides protection to federal forests and grasslands by implementing scientifically-backed (or proven), proactive management standards intended to lessen the threat of wildfires and other risks.

Upon passage, several groups came out in support of the legislation, including the National Wild Turkey Federation. NWTF CEO Becky Humphries said the following about the bill:

We appreciate Representative Westerman’s willingness to work with the NWTF and for bringing the forester’s perspective to the debate. It is of upmost importance to conduct proper forest management and properly fund that management, and H.R. 2936 is the first step. Moving forward, we hope to work with lawmakers from the U.S. Senate to pass similar legislation and eventually enact law for the benefit of our nation’s forests and its wildlife.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette noted support from Democratic Oregon Congressman Kurt Schrader:

Another United States congressman from a state that has a recurring interest in all this backs Bruce Westerman’s bill. Kurt Schrader, D-Ore., said the bill would help end “the endless, frivolous litigation” that slows down forest management in his state.

“On balance,” Rep. Schrader says, “this is a very good bill and much needed at this time.”

He should know, too.

House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers was an early supporter of this bill and knows well the cost of catastrophic wildfires in her home state of Washington. “Preventing fires begins with properly managing our natural resources, particularly our forests,” she said last Wednesday (November 1). A post from the House Republican Conference explains:

This bipartisan legislation pairs responsible budget fixes with targeted forest management reforms to dramatically improve the health and resilience of our nation’s forests and rangelands. The bill provides immediate tools to increase the pace, scale, and cost efficiency of forest management projects without sacrificing environmental protections.

Passage in the House is not the end of the road. We must get this bill through the Senate and onto the president’s desk so it can be signed into law. Continue to follow me on Facebook and Twitter to track the progress of the Resilient Federal Forests Act.