United States Forest Service
WILDFIRE MATTERS REVIEW COMMITTEE
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09:01 AM -- United States Forest Service
Jim Bedwell, Deputy Regional Forester for the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) discussed fire management and suppression decision-making, effectiveness of forest treatment projects and prescribed fire, and grants and funding programs provided to local communities for wildfire prevention and mitigation. He also gave a powerpoint presentation showing several different photos and aerial maps of various wildfires (Attachment A) and distributed handouts on the Wallow Fire (Attachment B), long term retardant (Attachment C), the Rocky Mountain region (Attachment D), and a copy of his testimony (Attachment E).
160919 AttachA.pdf160919 AttachB.pdf160919 AttachC.pdf160919 AttachD.pdf160919 AttachE.pdf
Senator Baumgardner asked Mr. Bedwell a question about funding. The committee discussed the issue with Mr. Bedwell.
Representative Hamner asked Mr. Bedwell a question about forest thinning, and about what the legislature can do to support USFS's work. Mr. Bedwell discussed limited budgets and community engagement. Mr. Bedwell and committee members continued to discuss projects with the State of Colorado, cooperation between the private timber industry and federal agencies, the impact of fire smoke, and forest thinning. Senator Roberts asked Mr. Bedwell about the USFS's intention regarding biomass fuel utilization. Mr. Bedwell and the committee discussed ways the committee and the legislature could support the USFS's mitigation, range permits, public education, and collaborative projects.
Mr. Bedwell was joined by Harris Maceo, Acting Director for State and Private Forestry, USFS, and Curtis Heaton, Director of Safety, Fire, and Aviation Management, USFS. Committee members, Mr. Maceo and Mr. Heaton discussed program funding, funding sources, matching grants, leveraging limited resources, and cost per acre of mitigation and suppression efforts.