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The U.S. Forest Service Cancels RFP Process For Phase Two Of The 4FRI Project To “Re-Assess” Factors Connected To It

National Forest

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The U.S Forest Service has decided to cancel the current 4FRI Phase Two RFP process within the Four Forest Restoration Initiative. Officials say the reason to cancel was to reassess the project when it comes to acreage, biomass treatment, road maintenance and other economic factors. Congressman Tom O’Halleran says the decision “jeopardizes the health of our forests and the safety of communities in the district.” Senator Mark Kelly also expressed his displeasure with the forest service saying, “the Forest Service blindsided Arizonans with their decision to cancel the long-awaited 4FRI contract. This is unacceptable and is only going to further erode Arizonans’ trust in the Forest Service.” Senator Kyrsten Sinema echo’s Senator Kelly’s thoughts saying, “this reversal comes at a particularly dangerous time for communities across Arizona, as wildfire season gets longer each year. The Forest Service must take immediate action and provide Arizonans certainty that there will be no further delays and that the agency will fulfill its obligations to our state.” Even though the Forest Service cancelled the contract, they say “we are deeply invested and our intention is to work with our partners together on a new proposal as soon as possible.” The 4FRI initiative encompasses the Kaibab, Coconino, Apache-Sitgreaves, and Tonto national forests, engaging them in a collaborative, landscape-scale initiative designed to restore fire-adapted ecosystems in the Southwestern Region.