Thompson Cosponsored Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2015 Clears House Agriculture Committee

Jun 17, 2015 Issues: Allegheny National Forest

Washington, D.C.—Today, the House Agriculture Committee approved H.R. 2647, the Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2015, a comprehensive bill aimed at expediting and improving forest management activities in federal forests. 

The Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2015 builds upon the work of previous Congresses to address the consequences of catastrophic wildfire, invasive species and disease infestations, along with other ongoing threats to the national forest system. The bill also will return resilience to overgrown, fire-prone forested lands.

“The Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2015 will provide the Forest Service increased authority and much needed flexibility to deal with the challenges of process, funding, litigation, necessary timber harvesting and enhanced forest management,” Conservation and Forestry Subcommittee Chairman Thompson said.  “This legislation provides incentives and promotes collaboration with the private sector for management activities, while allowing for states and third parties to provide funding for projects.  Additionally, in order to reduce unnecessary processes and increase the efficiency within the Forest Service, The Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2015 will provide categorical exclusion authorities for commonsense projects, which will allow the Forest Service to cut through the red tape and avoid lengthy and often redundant environmental evaluations” Thompson added

“I appreciate Rep. Glenn Thompson for his oversight and work on this issue as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry and as a member of the House Committee on Natural Resources.  The health of our national forests is declining, and by passing this legislation, we are taking an important step to change that,” Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway said.  “This bill will expedite forest management activities in the National Forests System and Bureau of Land Management to promote healthy, resilient forests and prevent wildfires.  With one-quarter of the 193 million acre National Forest System considered at risk for wildfires, we have to ensure that the necessary tools are available to keep our national forests healthy and thriving.” 

For more information on H.R. 2647 or today’s markup, click here.