March 29, 2013
Rep. Paul Gosar (Ariz.) reintroduced a bill that would help reduce excessive fuel loads on federal lands through livestock grazing and timber thinning.
The Public Lands Council (PLC), National Cattlemen's Beef Association and the Arizona Cattle Growers' Association supported the Catastrophic Wildfire Prevention Act (HR1345). The bill aims to expedite the process of reducing wildfire hazards by:
- streamlining analyses performed under the National Environmental Policy Act;
- expediting fuels-reduction activities such as livestock grazing and timber thinning; and
- allowing for hazardous fuels-reduction projects to go forward under existing emergency provisions of the Endangered Species Act when threatened or endangered species are at risk.
The bill adds to previous legislation by including contract stewardship and good neighbor authority measures, which would pave the way for completion of forest management projects through public-private partnerships and cooperation with state governments.
The American Sheep Industry Association signed on to a letter to the members of the House Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation supporting this bill.