Daniel Tellez 

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Treating Tribes and Counties as Good Neighbors Act, legislation introduced by Congressman Russ Fulcher (R-ID), passed the Committee on Natural Resources today with bipartisan, unanimous support. H.R. 1450 extends eligibility for the Good Neighbor Authority (GNA) program to counties and Tribes, giving them the ability to reinvest receipts in authorized restoration projects.

Congressman Fulcher introduced the legislation earlier this year in response to concerns from local tribes and counties regarding the lack of coordination and consultation on land management issues. Companion legislation has been introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senator Jim Risch (R-ID).

“The Good Neighbor Authority Program has created a successful collaboration with states that has produced wealth, healthier forests, and lowered fire risks.” said Fulcher. “It is now time to build on this foundation and allow our county and Tribal partners to share in the prosperity that has greatly benefited my home state of Idaho, as well as the broader Western U.S.”

“Today's advancement of H.R. 1450 is an essential step in the committee's continued effort to enhance forest management efforts and promote tribal co-stewardship of our lands,” added Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Bruce Westerman. “This bill will ensure tribes and counties can fully participate in Good Neighbor Authority, a critical tool in confronting the wildfire crisis. I am proud to have this bill pass through our committee with a unanimous bipartisan vote and hope to see it signed into law this Congress.”

The Treating Tribes and Counties as Good Neighbors Act has received widespread support, including Idaho Governor Brad Little, National Association of Counties, Intertribal Timber Council, Idaho Forest Group, Boone and Crockett Club, Mule Deer Foundation, National Association of State Foresters, and National Congress of American Indians.