Republican wildfire, forest-thinning bill clears committee

By Marc Heller | 06/27/2024 06:15 AM EDT

The “Fix Our Forests Act” would create “firesheds” for loosened environmental reviews and quicker hazardous fuels removal.

House Natural Resources Chair Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.).

The House Natural Resources Committee approved forest management legislation from Chair Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) on Wednesday. Francis Chung/POLITICO

Legislation to promote forest thinning and other tools against wildfires passed the House Natural Resources Committee on Wednesday, but its prospects aren’t clear in the Democratic-led Senate.

The committee approved the “Fix Our Forests Act,” H.R. 8790 by Chair Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.), on a voice vote.

The bill would create federal “firesheds” at greatest risk of severe wildfire and ease environmental reviews of forest projects in those areas, designated by the Forest Service.


It would put new limits on litigation around such projects and loosen court-imposed requirements for additional consultation between the Forest Service and the Fish and Wildlife Service on endangered species issues.