House Agriculture Committee Rolls Out Conservative Climate Solutions

April 16, 2021
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Representative Dusty Johnson (R-SD) along with Natural Resources Ranking Member Bruce Westermann (R-AR-04) introduced the Forestry Improvements to Restore the Environment Act, or the FIRE Act, which would provide new management tools to expedite forest restoration activities, restore forest health, grow rural economies, and produce climate resilient communities and landscapes.

The FIRE Act requires the Forest Service to complete a survey of National Forest System land that has been impacted by a wildfire within 60 days after the fire has been contained. Additionally, it would enable rural communities to get salvage timber to market, increasing financial benefits to local communities and funding for future restoration activities.

“During my recent meeting with the Forest Service, we both agreed: active forest management is the key to a safe and thriving forest and the Forest Service needs more tools,” said Johnson. “The FIRE Act will ensure the Forest Service is proactively reviewing lands recently impacted by a wildfire and salvaging carbon emitting trees. Conservation doesn't have to be partisan, and the FIRE Act is a strong step towards combating climate change.”

“Our nation’s forests are a natural powerhouse in combatting climate change, serving as our largest carbon sink. However, our forests must be healthy and properly managed to live up to their full potential,” said Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson, Republican Leader of the Agriculture Committee. “The FIRE Act will naturally address climate change by capitalizing on forest restoration, and I am excited to have Congressman Johnson on the front lines fighting for forest health.”

Johnson’s bill follow a slate of pro-innovation agriculture bills aimed at addressing climate change, including the RESTORE Act, the PRECISE Act, and the NO EMITS Act.