Arizona Senator Mark Kelly joined U.S. Forest Service Chief Randy Moore and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Tuesday, to launch a new ten-year strategy that discusses a need to increase fuels and forest treatments in order to address the growing crisis of wildfires in the community and around the country. The strategy is called “Confronting the Wildfire Crisis: A Strategy for Protecting Communities and Improving Resilience in America’s Forests” with three-billion dollars from the Infrastructure Law going to fund the plan. Senator Kelly tells KAFF News, the plan is a game changer when it comes to forest management. He says, “the goal here is to treat 20-million acres of forest service land and an additional 30-million acres of non-federal land like state land, tribal, private lands. The senator added, “so 50-million acres total for the next ten years for Arizona and across the West.” It’s a big increase over the two-million acres a year that’s currently done. The new strategy will start in areas that are at higher risk, such as the Pacific Northwest, the Sierra Nevada Range in California, the front range in Colorado and the Southwest. Kelly also says to expect movement on 4FRI and the Flagstaff Watershed Protection Project soon due to funding from the Infrastructure law. Kelly says a commission will be formed to look into how to better combat wildfires and if science, engineering and innovation can play a role in making the fight better for wildland firefighters both on the ground and in the air.
To hear Dave’s complete interview with Senator Kelly, click here: