U.S. SENATE —U.S. Senator Steve Daines today released comprehensive data on recent forest salvage and restoration projects that have taken place due to Daines’ efforts and the efforts of local elected officials and forest collaboratives. The projects will help reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire and create jobs for Montanans.
“Last year’s wildfires were devastating for Montana’s communities and forests. Our state and towns were covered with smoke for weeks at a time, and our once flourishing forests turned into tinderboxes,” Daines said. “I’m thankful that the Forest Service has responded to my request – and the request of local communities – to complete post-fire forest restoration work as quickly as possible. These projects are not only crucial to reducing the risk of future catastrophic wildfires, they will create good paying jobs for Montanans and revitalize our timber industry.”
Daines has a strong record of fighting to increase the restoration of Montana’s national forests. In May, Daines sent a letter to Forest Service Interim Chief Vicki Christiansen, requesting immediate action on the National Forest System lands in Montana impacted by the 2017 wildfires.
Last week, thanks to Daines’ efforts, the Forest Service deemed the Caribou Fire Salvage and Restoration Project as an “Emergency Situation Determination” (ESD). This project marks the fourth ESD approval this year.
Last month, Daines announced the approval of three additional salvage and restoration projects in Montana: the Sheep Gap Fire Salvage Project on July 31, the Cub Creek Fire Salvage Project on July 19th, and the West Fork Salvage on July 2nd.
Daines also filed an amendment during consideration of the Farm Bill in the U.S. Senate to further encourage the Forest Service to carry out salvage and other urgent actions using ESDs in response to fires and other emergencies in Montana’s national forests.
See below for chart on total acres for salvage thanks to Daines’ efforts: