Gluesenkamp Perez Bill for Increased Non-Federal Forest Management Passes Committee


On Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives Agriculture Committee unanimously passed a bill from Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez, D-Washougal, which aims to reduce the risk of wildfires on non-federal lands through good forest management.

Next, the bill heads to the House floor. Titled the “Treating Tribes and Counties as Good Neighbors Act,” the legislation proposes increasing opportunities for non-federal governments to be involved with the Good Neighbor Authority program for federal forest restoration and management. 

A news release from Gluesenkamp Perez’s office states the program allows the U.S. Forest Service to partner with states on federal forest restoration and management projects to improve wildlife habitats, enhance watersheds and reduce wildfire risks.

“I’m glad that my House Agriculture Committee colleagues came together to send this bill to the House floor to build on the success of the Good Neighbor Authority,” Gluesenkamp Perez said in the release. “We’ve got to keep the woods healthy and productive for future generations. This bill gives back critical flexibility … to our counties and tribes who understand that wildfire and natural disaster do not discriminate between federal and non-federal lands.”

The bill has seen support from Idaho Gov. Brad Little as well as the National Association of Counties, Intertribal Timber Council, Idaho Forest Group, Boone and Crockett Club, Mule Deer Foundation, National Association of State Foresters, National Congress of American Indians, Society of American Foresters, and the American Forest Foundation, the release stated