Nov 1, 2017

Washington, D.C. (November 1, 2017) The U.S. House of Representatives today passed H.R. 2936, the Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2017, with an amendment sponsored by Congressman Steve Pearce. This provision would allow for expedited forest restoration projects in New Mexico which would protect the health and longevity of the environment and expand the economy.

“Over time, thinning and logging activities in New Mexico and across the West have been drastically reduced. This reduction of thinning and logging activities has significantly aided the size and severity of wildfires in our state. The best way to restore our forests while preserving their ecosystems is the creation of restoration projects that will return them a healthy density. My amendment creates a pilot project in New Mexico to advance these projects forward in an efficient timeframe. The sooner these restorations efforts begin, the sooner we can begin avoiding catastrophic events that damage the safety and future of New Mexico families and businesses,” stated Rep. Pearce.

Click on the photo above or here to watch Rep. Pearce speak on the House Floor.

Overall, H.R. 2936 streamlines the management of federal forests to reduce the risk of wildfires. This bill will shorten the environmental review process and reduce bureaucratic regulations that increase time and costs of forest management.

“We in New Mexico are all too familiar with the economic and environmental devastation created by catastrophic wildfires. The management of our federal forests is in desperate need of updating to ensure communities, watersheds, endangered species, local businesses, and firefighters are kept safe. We must increase and expedite forest thinning and other forest treatment projects to restore forest health across the country. Today’s common-sense bill will cut government red tape and simplify the approval processes for essential forest management projects to ensure our fire-prone, federal forests get the treatment they need,” stated Rep. Pearce.

H.R. 2936 is supported by over 95 conservation, forestry, and industry groups, including the New Mexico Coalition of Conservation Districts and New Mexico Forest Industry Association.