Washington, D.C. – The U.S. House of Representatives approved H.R. 2936, the Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2017, a bipartisan bill to expedite and improve forest management activities by cutting the red tape for the Forest Service. Following the vote, House Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway (TX-11), Vice-Chairman Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (PA-5) and Conservation and Forestry Subcommittee Chairman Frank Lucas (OK-3) offered the below remarks:
“Today, the House took an important step to reducing Washington’s bureaucratic red tape. In the wake of devastating fires across much of the west this year, it is far past time we provide flexibility to the Forest Service to expedite management practices designed to prevent disastrous wildfires. This legislation will help save lives, homes and forests, and I thank my colleagues for restoring common sense management practices to preserve the health of our forests for future generations,” said Chairman Conaway.
“Our national forests are becoming increasingly overgrown with hazardous fuel due to lack of active management. The Resilient Federal Forests Act is a vital piece of legislation for the Forest Service, allowing for more authority and flexibility for improved forest management. As a member of both the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committees, I understand how important it is we provide our Forest Service with the tools needed to reduce the threat of catastrophic wildfires, insect and disease infestation and damage to municipal watersheds; and I applaud my colleagues for their support of this common-sense legislation to combat future forest fires,” said Vice-Chairman Thompson.
“The 2014 Farm Bill authorized a number of tools to empower the Forest Service in its mission to manage and preserve our national forests. Today’s bipartisan legislation builds upon our previous work by cutting red tape and streamlining existing functions in order to grant the Forest Service greater flexibility in addressing various challenges of process, funding, litigation, necessary timber harvesting, and essential active management. I thank my colleagues for their support to help strengthen efforts to address threats such as wildfires and ensure local communities have a seat at the table in the decision-making process.” said Subcommittee Chairman Lucas.