Barrasso proposes longer Forest Service permits for housing

By Marc Heller | 06/06/2024 06:41 AM EDT

The legislation would extend special use permits to 100 years. The agency faces a housing crunch for employees.

Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.)

Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) introduced legislation Wednesday on Forest Service housing. Francis Chung/POLITICO

Sen. John Barrasso proposed legislation Wednesday to help ease a housing shortage that’s affecting Forest Service staffing in the West.

The Wyoming Republican introduced a bill to extend the special use permits for housing on Forest Service land to as long as 100 years at a time in Western states, from 30 years in current law.

“The U.S. Forest Service is facing a housing crisis,” said Barrasso, the top Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, in a news release.


“The lack of adequate and available housing options is limiting the agency’s ability to recruit and retain a quality workforce capable of managing our national forests.”