Idaho’s State Forester to speak before Congressional Committee on Natural ResourcesMonday May 24, 2021
(Boise) – Idaho’s State Forester Craig Foss will discuss the relationship between drought, wildfires and forest health before a House Committee on Natural Resources subcommittee on Tuesday, May 25, 2021 in Washington D.C. Representative Russ Fulcher (R-ID) invited Foss to speak before the Western Drought Forum titled, “The status of drought conditions throughout the western United States.”
Idaho’s national forests comprise 80% of the state’s total forestland. Of federal forestland suitable for management, more than 8 million acres are in declining condition, leaving them at high risk of insect and disease and wildfire mortality.
As State Forester with the Idaho Department of Lands, Foss oversees the forestry and fire programs for the state of Idaho. Foss will share about Idaho’s efforts and goals through Shared Stewardship and Good Neighbor Authority agreements to double the number of acres treated and restored on our most at-risk federal forestlands. Adjacent state, industrial and family forestland will also be treated, assuring landscape-scale forest health improvements.
“Managed forests are healthy forests, better able to withstand wildfire, pests, and drought, and more capable of storing carbon, providing clean air, water, wildlife habitat, economic and recreational opportunities, and countless other benefits,” Foss said. “Forests, water and people are dependent on one another.”
Foss says it will take many years to address the extensive work needed to restore forested watersheds in Idaho and throughout the west. Foss will stress the need for consistent national policy support.
“It will require increased funding for climate change research, active forest management, wildfire mitigation, increased use of prescribed fire and reforestation,” said Foss.
The subcommittee meeting will be held Tuesday, May 25, 2021 at 11 a.m. MST. (1 pm EST) and can be seen at https://naturalresources.house.gov/hearings/remote-wow-oversight-hearing_may-25-2021.
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