Tipton Cosponsors The Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2019
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Representative Scott Tipton (R-CO) cosposored a bill, The Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2019, introduced by U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.). This bill offers a solution to the growing economic and environmental threats of catastrophic wildfires. Other cosponsors include U.S. Reps. Rob Bishop (R-Utah), Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (R-Penn.), Chris Stewart (R-Utah), Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), Don Young (R-Alaska), Doug LaMalfa (R-Calif.), Paul Cook (R-Calif.), John Curtis (R-Utah), Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), Tom McClintock (R-Calif.), Russ Fulcher (R-Ida.), Greg Walden (R-Ore.), Greg Gianforte (R-Mont.), Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.) and Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) cosponsored the bill.
“Colorado is fortunate to have over 7.1 million acres of forested lands, many of which are managed by the U.S. Forest Service and BLM. Unfortunately, many of these forests have been devasted by fires in recent years due to drought and insect infestation,” Tipton said. “These threats are exacerbated by a lack of proactive forest management. Providing federal agencies with the tools they need to engage in proactive management strategies will ensure that communities and wildlife habitat are protected and these forest lands are around for future generations to enjoy. I am glad to be a cosponsor of this important legislation.”
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. Westerman introduced similar legislation in the 115th Congress with bipartisan support, and several provisions were signed into law as part of the omnibus and Farm Bill packages.
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 improvement for wild turkey, ruffed grouse, elk, deer and other “early seral” forest-dependent species.
Click here to read the full bill text.