Senate Holds Hearings on Wildfires | Big Horn Basin Media

Barrasso Argues for Better Forest Management

Written by on September 28, 2017

More than 2 million acres burned across the United States in the form of wildfires this summer, and that fact has not gone unnoticed in the United States Senate.
Yesterday, Wyoming Senator John Barrasso, in his role as chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, addressed a full committee hearing that focused on forest management and the mitigation of catastrophic wildfires.
The Senate has introduced three bills addressing the dangers of wildfires – one would prevent delays in forest management by addressing conflicting court decisions; another would allow for removal of invasive trees that lead to wildfires; and a third would provide the forest service with additional tools to address the issue of dead or dying trees.
Barrasso pointed out that each of the bills addresses a different, but important, part of forest health and fire prevention.

Barrasso pointed out that while fire is a historically important part of an ecosystem, the catastrophic wildfires that many experienced this year are not. He suggested that forest managers be given the tools to remove large stands of dead trees in a timely manner from millions of acres of federal forest land that are in need of thinning and restoration, adding that the Forest Service estimated last year that up to 100 million acres are at some risk of wildfire.

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