Barrasso introduces Forest Health Plan
Bill encourages cooperation between State, Forest Service
by Senator Barrasso media release
December 13, 2007
(Washington) – U.S. Senator John Barrasso, R-Wyo., today introduced a bill which would encourage cooperation between the State of Wyoming and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) to complete forest health projects on private, state and federal lands.
“We have over 9 million acres of national forest lands in Wyoming,” Barrasso said. “Our forests are facing management challenges. This bill gives us the opportunity to set policies that will encourage forest health and address the needs of Wyoming.”
The “Wyoming Forest and Watershed Restoration Act of 2007,” S. 2468, would establish a comprehensive management policy to go forward with forest health projects.
“This legislation will benefit the people of Wyoming because it will allow us to cooperate and partner with the USFS on important forest health projects,” said Wyoming State Forester Bill Crapser.
Wyoming faces an urgent problem from a bark beetle infestation. In the Medicine-Bow Forest, for example, over 75,000 acres of trees are infected by bark beetles. A Forest Service analysis shows the epidemic could grow to 350,000 acres and cover approximately one third of the forest in the next few years.
“We have tens of thousands of acres of forests that are being killed by bark beetles,” Barrasso said. “We can stem the spread of this infestation and save our forests with quick action. But that kind of response will take coordinated management among all partners -- private, state and federal. This legislation can deliver those results.”