GOP-Led House Bill Seeks To Restore National Forests, End Overregulation Of Forest Management

( House Republicans have introduced the Resilient Federal Forests Act to protect Federal forests. The bill initially proposed by Congressman Bruce Westerman (R-AK), ranking member of the House National Resources Committee, was introduced by Washington state Republican House members Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Dan Newhouse.

According to Republican lawmakers, the Resilient Federal Forests Act would employ state of the art science to determine the top ten percent of high-risk fire sheds, improve wildlife habitats, protect public safety and infrastructure where forest areas and urban areas meet, encourage quick forestation, and remove hazardous trees while revitalizing the economy of rural areas.

The bill would also seek to reduce frivolous lawsuits, and also increase the pace and scale of critical restoration projects.

It is reported that more than 80 million acres of national forest are overgrown and prone to forest fires. This bill seeks to address much needed land management in federal forests.

Citing the current fires burning through the northwest, Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers said that decades of over-regulations and legal issues should not be permitted to stall efforts at effective forest management. This bill seeks to cut through the red tape and provide the forest service with the tools it needs to better manage national forests.

The problems with forest management have been of central importance to McMorris Rodgers since the beginning of last year. She believes that both Democrats and Republicans should be willing to come together to support this bill – in large part because uncontrolled forest fires are less likely to take off in healthier forests.

In addition to Resilient Federal Forests Act, McMorris Rogers and Newhouse have also sponsored an bill that would provide rural communities more resources to address wildfires.

Currently fighting wildfires is also part of the Senate’s so-called “bipartisan” $1.2 Trillion infrastructure bill – with a little over $3 billion devoted to “wildland firefighting” efforts, and another $6 billion toward national resource-related infrastructure which includes fire management and restoration.

Last week, in a video posted to Twitter by the GOP Natural Resources Committee, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy praised the Resilient Federal Forests Act:

There is no indication at this time that Speaker Pelosi or the House Democrats will bring this bill to a vote.