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Washington, DC – Wyoming Congresswoman Liz Cheney (R-WY) issued the following statement after co-sponsoring the Resilient Federal Forests Act, a bipartisan bill to address the environmental and economic threats of catastrophic wildfires:

“As wildfires continue to plague our nation, it is important that we work to restore the health of our forests. All across the West, livelihoods are threatened by these fires and firefighters risk their lives to battle them and protect our communities.

“For years, the federal government has mismanaged our forests, resulting in more catastrophic fires. We must take action now to implement effective forest management. I am proud to co-sponsor this legislation, and will continue to work to find solutions to protect Wyoming from the threat of wildfires by ensuring that our forests are properly managed.”

BACKGROUND:

More than 80 million acres of national forests are overgrown, fire-prone and in dire need of active management. The Resilient Federal Forests Act restores forest health, increases resiliency to wildfire, and supports the economic revitalization of rural communities. 

Key provisions of the bill include:

  • Utilizing state-of-the-art science to triage the top 10 percent of high-risk firesheds.
  • Simplifying and expediting environmental analyses to reduce costs and planning times of critical forest management projects while maintaining thorough environmental reviews.
  • Speeding up essential forest management projects by ending frivolous ligation.
  • Giving the Forest Service the necessary tools to restore watersheds, improve wildlife habitat and protect critical infrastructure and public safety in wildland-urban interfaces.
  • Accelerating reviews for salvage operations and reforestation activities to encourage quick reforestation, remove dangerous hazard trees and economically revitalize rural areas.
  • Incentivizing collaborative projects of up to 30,000 acres to increase the pace and scale of active management. 
  • Creating new, innovative authorities that increase tribal management of forestlands.
  • Codifying the principles of shared stewardship and permanently reauthorizing the Good Neighbor Authority to ensure states are equal partners in forest management activities.
  • Removing cumbersome interagency consultation requirements that delay forest management activities and attract obstructionist litigation.
  • Expanding and improving existing authorities to address insect and disease infestations and increase resiliency to wildfires.

Read the full bill here.

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