February 03, 2005

Crapo To Review Forest Legislation Implementation

Hearing will focus on Healthy Forest Restoration Act

Washington, DC â?? Six months after the passage of legislation designed to improve the health of our nationâ??s forest, Idaho Senator Mike Crapo will chair a Senate hearing to learn how the measure is being implemented. The Senate Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation, Forestry and Rural Revitalization will take place on Thursday, June 24, at 9:30 a.m. in 562 Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill.Noting the severe wildfire outlook for 2004, Crapo stated, â??This historic legislation will take time to implement. It took decades for the conditions to deteriorate on our nationâ??s forests, and while we have provided additional tools for our land managers, those changes and improvements will not happen overnight. Nevertheless, Congress needs to continue to oversee the implementation of the Act to ensure its goals are being addressed.â??Crapo also noted the benefits of the community wildfire protection plans. â??Community involvement is a key to the success of the Healthy Forests Restoration Act. The creation of community wildfire protection plans is a key component of helping communities prepare for and reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires. I look forward to getting the word out about theses important plans.â?? In April, a coalition of organizations concerned about protecting communities from catastrophic wildfires released a step-by-step handbook that guides local communities in wildfire prone areas to better prepare and reduce the future risks of catastrophic wildfires. The handbook offers a detailed description of how to create a community wildfire protection plan as allowed by the Healthy Forests Restoration Act.The Healthy Forest Restoration Act was passed by the Senate Agriculture Committee last July and was enacted into law on December 3, 2003. The Healthy Forest Restoration Act is a key component of the Presidentâ??s Healthy Forests Initiative. # # #