Bishop Statement on Agreement of Catastrophic Wildfire Legislation
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) issued the following statement on the agreement reached for consideration ofthe bipartisan Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2015 (H.R. 2647), introduced by Rep. Westerman (R-AR), by the full House of Representatives the week of July 5, 2015. H.R. 2647 will be considered as part of a legislative package that includes amendments to the Stafford Act, enabling major wildfires on federal lands to become eligible for emergency declaration status, subject to certain criteria.
“This is a significant agreement that should garner broad support in the House, Senate and from the Administration. My colleagues on both sides of the aisle agree that current efforts to combat the growing threat of catastrophic wildfires are failing our communities. This package charts a new course. The bill includes new tools the Forest Service could implement immediately to treat thousands of acres at a lower cost while also finally tackling the fire-borrowing problem. I thank Chairman Shuster for his collaboration on swiftly moving this important legislation to a vote in the House. I look forward to working with my colleagues to move this bill to the President’s desk.”
The Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2015 passed the Committee on Natural Resources on June 11, 2015, and the House Agriculture Committee on June 17, 2015. The legislation would restore fundamental land management capabilities to the U.S. Forest Service, such as routine thinning practices to improve forest health and reduce wildfire threats, that have been encumbered by litigation.
The agreement was reached between the Committee on Natural Resources, the Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure, and the Committee on Agriculture.