Republican wildfire prevention bill up for committee vote

By Marc Heller | 06/25/2024 06:35 AM EDT

The House Natural Resources Committee will mark up legislation focused on forest thinning and wildfire management.

Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.).

A forest bill from House Natural Resources Chair Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) will get a markup this week. Francis Chung/POLITICO

House Natural Resources Chair Bruce Westerman’s latest effort to step up forest thinning on federal lands is heading to a vote in his committee Wednesday.

Westerman’s bill, the “Fix Our Forests Act,” H.R. 8790, would establish “firesheds” in federally managed forests that would receive priority treatment for thinning, prescribed fire and other methods of reducing thick, dead or diseased vegetation.

Westerman, an Arkansas Republican, and Rep. Scott Peters (D-Calif.) co-wrote the latest version of the legislation, which has endorsements from some conservation organizations, hunting groups and the timber industry.


With support from the other side of the aisle, Westerman aims to advance the bill as a less environmentally controversial proposal than other forest legislation proposed by Republicans.