Wyoming State Forester Testifies at Senate Hearing

By Parker Jones

Wyoming State Forester and NASF immediate past president Bill Crapser testified this morning at Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee hearing on a legislative discussion draft of  the Wildfire Prevention and Mitigation Act of 2017.

Crapser spoke about the need for active forest management on federal forest lands. The draft bill includes expanded uses for categorical exclusions, provisions for arbitration, and expanded opportunities to utilize Good Neighbor Authority.  This authority allows State Forestry agencies to develop agreements with the USDA Forest Service to implement projects on federal forest lands.

Crapser began his testimony by encouraging greater coordination between the federal land managers and state foresters, encouraging the use of each state’s Forest Action Plan as a foundational document in focusing the state’s fuels work. He described how better managed federal forests will help all of the nation’s forests as wildfire and insects and disease know no boundaries.  Finally, he reiterated NASF’s support for a Wildfire Funding Fix. Watch Bill’s testimony.

A discussion draft of the Wildfire Prevention and Mitigation Act of 2017 was released earlier this week by EPW Chairman John Barrasso (R-WY) along with Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), John Thune (R-SD), and Steve Daines (R-MT).

Watch the full hearing.

Photo courtesy epw.senate.gov

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