Crapo, Risch Call On USDA To Promote Forest Management
Idaho Senators Jim Risch and Mike Crapo joined fellow Senate Republican, Steve Daines from Montana, asking the Administration to collaborate with states when it comes to Forest Management. In Thursday’s letter sent to Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack, the lawmakers urged the development and implementation of a transparent and swift process to allocate funds promised to States for effective forest management projects under the Good Neighbor Authority.
“We write to ask that you do all in your power to follow through on your commitment to working with state and local governments to improve our forest health and address the wildfire crisis," Thursday's letter stated. "By mid-summer, your Department was in receipt of $160 million to award grants to States and Tribes for implementing projects under the Good Neighbor Authority (GNA), a time-tested mechanism for achieving this very outcome, but had not yet acted to allocate all of these funds. We urge you to establish a transparent process for distributing GNA funds directly to States and Tribes expeditiously and in a manner that maximizes taxpayers’ return on investment."
“The delayed distribution of GNA funds has not come without consequences," the letter continued. "States have now missed the window of opportunity to utilize these GNA funds to mitigate the risk and severity of the wildfires currently burning across the West. We cannot afford to miss the next window of opportunity.”
In addition to Crapo, Risch and Daines, Wyoming senator John Barasso and California’s Diane Feinstein also signed Thursday’s letter.
Click Here to read the full letter sent to Secretary Vilsack.
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