Representative Gosar Unveils Draft Catastrophic Wildfire Prevention Legislation

May 2, 2012 Issues: Natural Resources

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                                                    May 1st, 2012

CONTACT:                                                                                               Apryl Marie Fogel

                                                                                       AprylMarie.Fogel@mail.house.gov

   

Representative Gosar Unveils Draft Catastrophic Wildfire Prevention Legislation

Camp Verde, AZ – Today, at a forum with the Arizona Cattlemen's Association, Congressman Paul Gosar (R-AZ) unveiled draft legislation intended to remove bureaucratic red tape at the U.S. Forest Service. Arizonans know that the current system is threatening precious wildlife, hampering economic growth, and endangering the lives and property of constituents residing near federally-administered lands.

“The southwestern United States is again experiencing drought conditions, leaving our constituents vulnerable to yet another devastating fire season,” said Congressman Gosar.  “Arizonans are tired of being victims of avoidable wildfire conditions.  This legislation will expedite the review and approval process forthinning and grazing projects near at-risk communities, so that our forests can be maintained and rural jobs can be created.”

“Over the past year, I have worked with constituent groups, like the cattlemen, who are directly affected by our forests’ fire-prone condition, to formulate this proposal.  When the federal government, local governments, stakeholder groups, and private industry work together, we can create much needed jobs and a safer environment for our citizens.” 

The Catastrophic Wildfire Prevention Act of 2012 will enact a streamlined federal review process and allow the USFS to use the emergency provisions of existing regulations to expedite grazing and forest thinning projects on National Forest System and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands.  Current bureaucratic gridlock has had a drastic impact on many western states.  For instance, nearly one million acres of Arizona forests burned in the last year, polluting the air and killing or harming endangered species and destroying wildlife habitats. 

Arizona’s First Congressional District is home to over nine million acres of National Forest System and BLM lands.  That acreage includes all or parts of Apache-Sitgreaves, Coconino, Coronado, Kaibab, Prescott, and Tonto National Forests.  As a member of the House Natural Resources Committee, Congressman Gosar is a strong advocate for federal forest policy reform.  To learn more about his work regarding forest health, please visit www.gosar.house.gov.

                                                                                                     ###