Tag: Wildfire

Forest Service Responds to Daines’ Demands to Expedite Salvage Projects

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

Daines Applauds Decision to Enhance Tools to Combat Wildfires, Protect Public Safety

BILLINGS, Mont. — U.S. Senator Steve Daines today applauded the federal government’s decision to work with Montana to enhance the tools necessary to combat wildfires. “It’s great to see the federal government work with Montanans to combat wildfires,” Daines stated. “While this announcement is a step in the right direction, the Forest Service needs to continue working with our state to utilize all aerial firefighting resources on federal fires at any time to protect our forests and communities.”  Last fire season, Daines urged the United States Department of Agriculture to reverse their prohibition on the use of UH-1H helicopters to combat Montana wildfires. Daines is

Daines Works to Improve Federal Cooperation with Indian Country

U.S. SENATE —Senator Steve Daines today fought to improve Montana’s tribes’ sovereignty, pressing the Obama administration to work more collaboratively and efficiently with Montana’s tribes relating to health care and management of tribal forests.  During two different Senate Committee hearings today, Daines called on witnesses to improve stewardship of federal funds while working to alleviate some of the challenges associated with wildfires in Indian Country. U.S. Indian Health Service Fiscal Year 2017 Budget Request: Click here to download Daines’ remarks. Click here to watch Daines’ remarks.  During this morning’s Senate Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies hearing on the Indian Health

Daines: We Need Forest Management Reform

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Senator Steve Daines today fervently implored his Senate colleagues to take long-needed action and move forward bipartisan legislation that includes both a solution for wildfire funding and responsible forest management reforms.  Click here to watch Daines’ remarks. Click here to download Daines’ remarks. During a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on wildfire management strategies, Daines reiterated the need for comprehensive, bipartisan solutions that address the wildfire funding challenges facing the Forest Service, implement litigation reforms and improve the health of the National Forest system through increased active forest management.  “I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, let’s come

Daines Reiterates Call to End Fire Borrowing

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Senator Steve Daines today reiterated his call for the federal government to end the practice of fire borrowing, following the U.S. Forest Service’s recent report on the rising cost of wildfire operations: “Montana has already experienced several high-intensity fires this year. The fire season thus far has been one of the worst in the past decade and has only made more evident the urgent need for a wildfire funding solution. It is critical that Congress end fire borrowing and ensure that the Forest Service can spend more of its budget on making our National Forests more resilient

Daines, Forest Service Affirm Importance of Categorical Exclusions as Forest Restoration Tool

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Steve Daines today pressed the U.S. Forest Service to outline reforms needed to restore the health of the National Forest system and clarify the importance of Categorical Exclusions (CEs) as utilized by the Forest Service in forest health restoration projects. Click here to download Daines’ questioning. Click here to watch Daines’ questioning. During today’s Energy and Natural Resources hearing, Daines reaffirmed his commitment to forest management reform and asked Forest Service Chief Thomas Tidwell about how CEs are used to expedite forest restoration projects and enhance the environment. “I’m very determined, I’m very motivated to pass

Daines: Increased Forest Management Vital to Reducing Threat of Wildfire in Montana

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Steve Daines today emphasized the importance of proper management of Montana’s National Forests to reduce the costly threat of devastating wildfires in Montana.  During today’s Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on the federal government’s role in wildfire management, the impact of fires on communities and potential improvements to be made in fire operations, Daines called on Congress to find long-term solutions for funding wildfire suppression.  “I’ve spent a lot of time traveling across Montana hearing from conservation groups, sportsmen groups and the timber industry, and I think we’ve got great, broad spectrum agreement that we have to change

Tester, Daines and Zinke to Forest Service: We need to see more

(Washington, D.C) – Senators Jon Tester and Steve Daines and Congressman Ryan Zinke are pushing the Forest Service for answers about how the agency plans to implement the forestry provisions in the 2014 Farm Bill.  In a letter to Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell, the entire Montana delegation noted that after the Farm Bill passed over a year ago the Department was quick to approve Montana’s recommended areas that deserve expedited treatment for timber harvest, but since then there has been little action. “We need to see more,” the members wrote. “The health of the approximately 17 million acres of National

Helena Independent Record: Daines pushing for disaster funding for wildfires

U.S. Sen. Steve Daines said he is looking to add certainty to federal fire managers’ budgets by reforming the way the worst wildfires receive federal funding. Daines was in Clancy on Friday discussing the Wildfire Disaster Funding Act of 2015 with a roundtable of state and federal forest managers, conservation and forest dependent business interests. Daines signed onto the act as a senator in January, which would likely end the practice of “fire borrowing” when suppression funding runs out and must be pulled in from other programs. “The agencies have this cloud hanging over them,” said Richard Stem, retired deputy

U.S. Forest Service Chief: 300 million board feet per year in MT is a ‘very reasonable’ goal

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Forest Service Chief Thomas Tidwell asserted that increasing timber harvests on Montana National Forests to 300 million board feet per year is a “very reasonable” goal. During today’s Senate Appropriations Interior Subcommittee hearing on the U.S. Forest Service budget request for Fiscal Year 2016, Senator Steve Daines pressed Tidwell on the Forest Service’s goals for future timber harvests. In Montana’s National Forests, timber production in FY 2014 was 113 million board feet per year, only half of which were saw logs. Daines asked Tidwell if increasing timber harvest goals on Montana’s National Forests “between 200 and 300 million