Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Restore Forests and Grasslands

Late last week, a group of Senators announced the Joint Chiefs Landscape Restoration Partnership Act of 2021. The legislation would formally authorize the Department of Agriculture’s Joint Chiefs’ Landscape Restoration Partnership Initiative to better support forest and grassland restoration projects across public and private land, including NE Washington. The lawmakers say the bill supports voluntary restoration projects across ownership boundaries, so that treatments can occur across a landscape.

Since USDA launched Joint Chiefs in 2014, the initiative has supported 93 projects, treated 300,000 acres of hazardous fuels, restored 29,000 acres in watersheds, and enhanced 200,000 acres of wildlife habitat. The bi-partisan legislation would formally establish the program at USDA, double its funding to help meet demand, and improve outreach and accountability.

Senators Micheal Bennet, a Colorado Democrat, and John Hoeven, A North Dakota Republican, introduced the bill in the Senate. House Democrats Abigail Spanberger of Virginia and Joe Neguse, along with Republican Kelly Armstrong of North Dakota, introduced the bill in the House.

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