NASF, in partnership with the National Alliance of Forest Owners (NAFO), the Society of American Foresters (SAF), and the Forest Landowners Association (FLA), submitted official comments to the EPA in response to the Reconsideration of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Particulate Matter. The comments stress the importance of avoiding undue or unintended restrictions on the ability of landowners, both public and private, to conduct prescribed burning. It is nearly universally agreed that a significant increase in prescribed fire and fuels treatments are needed to reduce wildfire threats and aid in ecosystem maintenance, restoration, and resilience across the country.
“If EPA lowers the annual primary standard as proposed, it will be increasingly important to ensure state agencies have the tools and understanding to pursue the exceptional events process. As wildfire experts, state forestry agencies have an essential role in the process and stand ready to assist, but anything EPA can do to proactively support state environmental agencies in this area will be key. This may include, but not be limited to, streamlining processes, issuing clear guidance, and providing training.”