Committee Passes Bill to Improve the Health and Resiliency of Federal Forests
WASHINGTON - Today, the House Committee on Natural Resources passed H.R. 2936, the “Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2017.” Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-AR) introduced the bipartisan bill to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire and dramatically improve the health of federal forests and rangelands.
“Our forest health crisis can no longer be neglected. Active management is needed to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire and improve the health and resiliency of our forests and grasslands. More money alone is not the solution. This comprehensive forest management package solves the fire-borrowing problem and gives federal land managers immediate tools to increase the pace and scale of management and restoration projects,” Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) said. “I thank Rep. Westerman for his dedication on this issue and look forward to working with my colleagues in the House and Senate to advance this legislation.”
“Passage of the Resilient Federal Forests Act out of committee proves that Congress is serious about tackling the major issues. As we debated this bill, dozens of wildfires continue to burn in the southwest. With property and lives in danger, it again highlights the necessity of the Resilient Federal Forests Act. It would reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires through active forest management, addressing both the symptoms and the underlying cause of catastrophic fires in our national forests,” Rep. Westerman said. “I thank Chairman Bishop for quickly moving this bill through committee and I look forward to its passage in the House.”
H.R. 2936 addresses the growing economic and environmental threats of catastrophic wildfire and solves the problem of “fire-borrowing.” The bill streamlines onerous environmental review processes to get work done on the ground quickly, without sacrificing environmental protection. The bill also minimizes the threat of frivolous litigation by providing alternatives to resolve legal challenges against forest management activities.
Click here to learn more about H.R. 2936.