House Passes Forest Package with Tipton Provisions
WASHINGTON—The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bipartisan forest management bill to encourage proactive management and wildfire prevention. The Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2015 (H.R. 2647), of which Congressman Scott Tipton (R-CO) is a co-sponsor, contains concepts from several previously introduced pieces of forest management legislation, including Tipton’s Healthy Forest Management and Wildfire Prevention Act (H.R. 695), which seeks to empower state and local governments to have a greater say in hazardous fuels reduction projects on federal lands in their region, as well as simplify the overly complex and stagnant federal regulatory structure that has prevented many such projects from moving forward.
“If signed into law, the Resilient Federal Forests Act would take significant steps toward reducing devastating wildland fires on federal public lands by increasing proactive healthy forest management and hazardous fuels reduction,” said Tipton. “Inadequate, passive management of federal public lands has led to hazardous conditions that fuel the large, unpredictable wildfires we’ve seen in recent years. This bill eliminates bureaucratic hurdles preventing mitigation and hazardous fuels reduction projects, and increases state and local control over forest management decisions in their regions. With proactive management we can reduce the occurrence of catastrophic wildfire and protect communities, habitats, water supplies and infrastructure from future destruction.”
Learn more about H.R. 2647 HERE.
Concepts from Tipton’s legislation incorporated in H.R. 2647 include:
- giving states increased control over forest management decisions in high-risk areas on federal public lands;
- extending stewardship contracting;
- providing expedited approval procedures for to remove hazardous fuel loads;
- providing expedited procedures to address insect, disease and deteriorating forest health conditions.
Tipton’s forest bill passed through the House of Representatives twice in the 113th Congress as part of former Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings’s Restoring Healthy Forests for Healthy Communities Act (H.R. 1526) and the Jobs for America Act (H.R. 4).