WASHINGTON—Congressman Russ Fulcher joined his colleagues in the Western Caucus to support the Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2019, led by Rep. Bruce Westerman.
"Year after year, we watch as over 600,000 acres of federal land in Idaho is burned by wildfires. The mismanagement of this land, owned by federal agencies including the Bureau of Land Management, Department of Defense, Fish and Wildlife Services, and the Forest Service, produces the perfect environment for these devastating fires and can no longer be tolerated,” commented Rep. Russ Fulcher. “I am very appreciative to Rep. Westerman for his leadership on the Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2019, and proud to join his efforts as a co-sponsor."
The Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2019 pairs targeted forest management reforms with needed regulatory streamlining to dramatically improve the health and resiliency of forests and rangelands. The bill provides federal land management agencies immediate tools to increase the pace, scale and cost efficiency of forest management projects without sacrificing environmental protections.
The bill utilizes tools that the United States Forest Service (USFS) and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) can implement immediately to mitigate insect and disease infestation, prevent damage to municipal watersheds and critical infrastructure, quickly harvest wildfire-killed trees to pay for reforestation and improve the health of forests and grasslands to reduce the threat of catastrophic wildfire.
It also streamlines environmental reviews of projects for the removal of dead trees to pay for reforestation after large wildfires, requires an Environmental Assessment for a reforestation project, and encourages and speeds wildlife habitat improvements for wild turkey, ruffed grouse, elk, deer and other "early seral" forest-dependent species.
Original Cosponsors of the bill include: Rep. Rob Bishop (UT-01), Rep. Liz Cheney (WY-At Large), Rep. Paul Cook (CA-08), Rep. John Curtis (UT-03), Rep. Russ Fulcher (ID-01), Rep. Greg Gianforte (MT-At Large), Rep. Paul Gosar (AZ-04), Rep. Duncan Hunter (CA-50), Rep. Doug LaMalfa (CA-01), Rep. Tom McClintock (CA-04), Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05), Rep. Chris Stewart (UT-02), Rep. Glenn 'GT' Thompson (PA-15), Rep. Scott Tipton (CO-03).
Read the full bill text here.