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Press Release

Bishop, Westerman Response to the Ag Committee Advancing the Resilient Federal Forests Act

Today, the House Committee on Agriculture passed H.R. 2936, the “Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2017,” without opposition. Introduced by Rep. Westerman (R-AR), the bipartisan bill reduces the risk of catastrophic wildfire and dramatically improves the health and resiliency of federal forests and grasslands.

“I’m happy to see the ball moving forward on this important bill. Our land managers need the tools and resources we are providing through this legislation to address our growing forest health and wildfire crisis. We will move this to the floor and work with the Senate to ensure that these reforms become law,” Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) said.

“Passage of the Resilient Federal Forests Act out of the House Committee on Agriculture proves that Congress is serious about working together to tackle the major issues. With property and lives on the line across the western United States, it again highlights the necessity of the Resilient Federal Forests Act. I thank Chairman Conaway for moving this bill through committee and I urge quick passage in the House,” Rep. Westerman stated.


According to the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), there are approximately 60-80 million acres of national forest at high, to very high, risk of catastrophic wildfire. Although it is scientifically proven that active forest management reduces fire severity, the USFS only treats between 1 and 2% of high risk acres. As a result, nearly 8.5 million acres have burned this year, resulting in over $2 billion in fire suppression costs, making 2017 the most expensive year on record.

In June, the Committee passed Westerman’s “Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2017.” In the 114th Congress, the bill passed the House with bipartisan support.