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Press Release

Committee Probes Forest Service Budget Request Seeking More Funding for Less Management

  • NFPL Subcommittee

Today, the Subcommittee on Federal Lands held an oversight hearing on the United States Forest Service (USFS) Fiscal Year 2025 (FY 2025) budget request. Subcommittee Chairman Tom Tiffany (R-Wis.) issued the following statement in response: 

"Improving the health of our nation’s forests and combatting the devastating wildfire crisis are among the most pressing issues facing the Natural Resources Committee. For far too long, rural communities have had to bear the brunt of catastrophic wildfires and poor forest management year after year. Regrettably, the Forest Service's fiscal year 2025 budget falls short of meeting this urgent challenge – even proposing treating fewer acres than the year before for the second year in a row."


USFS manages 193 million acres of National Forest System lands, including 154 national forests and 20 national grasslands. Today’s hearing allowed members to hear from USFS Chief Randy Moore and hold the agency accountable for its increased budget request and ongoing struggles in confronting the many challenges facing our federal forests. 

The USFS FY 2025 budget request seeks more taxpayer funding requests in return for less acres of forest land being treated and properly managed. USFS has struggled to confront the agency's myriad of challenges, most notably a lack of forest management leading to our current historic wildfire crisis. Burdensome regulations and frivolous litigation remain the primary obstacles hindering better forest management outcomes. Meanwhile, the wildfire crisis continues to destroy lives and property, degrade air and water quality and irreparably damage millions of acres of forest land and wildlife habitat.

Despite receiving roughly $11.5 billion in supplemental funding in recent years, the USFS has failed to meaningfully address the lack of active forest treatment across USFS-managed lands. Investigative reporting published in August 2022 uncovered that the USFS overinflated its treatment numbers by more than 20 percent.

In response, the House Committee on Natural Resources has advanced multiple pieces of legislation in the 118th Congress to address these issues. H.R. 1567 requires the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of the Interior to submit accurate reports regarding hazardous fuels reduction activity and implement standardized procedures for tracking data related to such activities. The House of Representatives passed H.R. 1567 on Sept. 13, 2023, with a bipartisan vote of 406 to 4.

At the hearing, committee members expressed further displeasure with the agency’s mismanagement of our federal forests including missed timber targets, diminishing access, and the Biden administration’s failure to confront the crisis at our southern border. 

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