U.S. SENATE – U.S. Senators Steve Daines and Dianne Feinstein today announced that their bipartisan forest management reform bill has been given a hearing date in the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee next week. This announcement follows Daines’ and Feinstein’s direct request to the committee for a hearing. Daines serves as Montana’s voice on the Committee.
“As deadly wildfires continue to spread across Montana and the West, it is important now more than ever that we advance this bipartisan forest management reform bill,” Daines said. “This hearing will demonstrate how our legislation will help protect at-risk communities, create jobs and contain wildfires before they get out of hand.”
“More than 2 million acres have already burned this year in California, and the situation is getting worse by the day,” Feinstein said. “This is a crisis all across the Western United States. We need the ability to responsibly clear dead trees and other biomass that will otherwise feed these destructive and often deadly wildfires. I’m pleased our bipartisan bill will receive a hearing and hope it quickly moves through the Senate. We can’t afford to do nothing while these fires get worse every year.”
Daines and Feinstein today also sent a letter to Senate Leadership urging quick passage of their bipartisan bill given the recent catastrophic wildfires in Montana, California and the West.
The letter states: “If we don’t take strong action now, we worry that what’s happening to California and Montana will soon become the new normal in every state in the West. We urge you to help us pass this important, bipartisan piece of legislation as quickly as possible.”
To read the full letter, click HERE.
The bipartisan bill will create good paying timber jobs, reduce frivolous litigation, protect wildlife habitats and air and water quality and reduce the risk of wildfire in at-risk communities. Daines and Feinstein’s bill is also critical during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic because wildfires could make conditions worse for those with health risks and respiratory illnesses and place wildland firefighters at even greater risk.