WASHINGTON, D.C. ― U.S. Rep. Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) has issued the following statement after two of his important active forest management policies were signed into law by President Donald J. Trump:
“Following one of the most devastating wildfire seasons in our nation’s history, it is critical that we do everything in our power to provide the Forest Service and public land management agencies with the tools they need to reduce the threat of catastrophic wildfires and protect our communities,” Gosar said. “One life lost is too many, let alone 88 like we saw in California’s Camp Fire. Years of mismanagement has left our forests vulnerable to insects and disease and ripe for catastrophic wildfires. This flawed approach causes us to spend billions of dollars on the backend to suppress fire, neglecting hazardous fuels reduction and putting our communities at increasing risk of catastrophic fire. While the Forest Service still needs more authorities from Congress, including things like Balance of Harms and Action/No Action policies, I am pleased that we were able to add two more tools to President Trump and his Administration’s toolbox today.”
President Donald J. Trump has signed into law H.R. 2, legislation that contains two important active forest management provisions championed by U.S. Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04).
The first Gosar-led policy empowers local communities by allowing counties to be included in Good Neighbor Authority cooperative agreements and contracts in order to improve forest health, reduce flooding, mitigate the threat of catastrophic wildfire and improve water quality. Good Neighbor Authority Projects have been remarkably successful. From 2002-2013, 63 projects treated more than 4,100 acres in Colorado and Utah alone. Counties on both sides of the aisle requested this amendment and new authority, including Coconino County in Arizona. This Gosar amendment originally passed the House on 6/21/18.
The National Association of Countiessupported the Gosar Good Neighbor Authority for Counties Amendment stating, “NACo stands ready to work with you to promote locally supported, consensus-driven solutions to address forest management challenges and reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire. NACo encourages the U.S. House of Representatives to adopt your amendment to H.R. 2, and give counties the opportunity to assist our federal partners to make our national forests healthy again.”
The second Gosar-led policy reauthorizes the insect and disease categorical exclusion (CE) and expands its purpose to allow for hazardous fuels reduction in order to reduce the threat of catastrophic wildfires and protect our communities. The original insect and disease CE came from Rep. Gosar’s Catastrophic Wildfire Prevention Act, H.R.1345, and was originally signed into law on 2/7/14 in the form of H.R. 2642. More HERE.