This document includes Senate Committee Amendments incorporated into the bill on Wed, Feb 15, 2017 at 11:30 AM by lpoole.



Chief Sponsor: Lee B. Perry

Senate Sponsor: Evan J. Vickers


8     General Description:
9          This concurrent resolution urges Utah's congressional delegation to develop and support
10     legislation to improve the federal wildfire funding process and management of the
11     nation's forests.
12     Highlighted Provisions:
13          This resolution:
14          ▸     expresses concern regarding the current federal funding process for wildfire issues
15     and forest management; and
16          ▸     urges support for federal legislation that would improve the federal wildfire funding
17     process and management of the nation's forests.
18     Special Clauses:
19          None

21     Be it resolved by the Legislature of the state of Utah, the Governor concurring therein:
22          WHEREAS, today's fire seasons are, on average, 78 days longer than they were in the
23     1970s, and are projected to become hotter, more unpredictable, and more expensive;
24          WHEREAS, over the last few decades, the portion of the United States Forest Service's
25     budget dedicated to fire has increased from under 20% to more than 50% of the United States
26     Forest Service's total budget;
27          WHEREAS, as wildfire management consumes a significantly larger share of the

28     United States Forest Service's budget, critical funding that supports federal, state, and private
29     forests is reduced;
30          WHEREAS, compounding the issue is a practice known as "fire borrowing," which
31     occurs when the United States Forest Service takes money from nonwildfire programs to pay
32     for the current year's fire suppression needs that exceed appropriated funding;
33          WHEREAS, fire borrowing has resulted in the cancellation of forest thinning activities,
34     firefighter training, purchases of firefighting equipment, and recreation projects;
35          WHEREAS, in order to cover wildfire suppression costs in recent years, the United
36     States Forest Service has been forced to dismiss employees early, cancel contracts, and halt
37     plans to fill critical positions that conserve and protect our nation's public and private forests;
38          WHEREAS, if the nation does not have healthy and resilient forests, public benefits
39     such as clean air and water, wildlife habitat, places to recreate, and jobs are all at risk; and
40          WHEREAS, Ŝ→ federal ←Ŝ legislation is needed to enable more active forest management
40a     on all
41     lands, both public and private, through budget process changes and federal forest reforms,
42     including:
43               •     a prohibition on late-season fire borrowing;
44               •     increased funding for nonwildfire suppression programs; and
45               •     significantly increased active, federal forest management, including
46     rewarding collaboration, streamlining the National Environmental Policy
47     Act process and expanding the use of categorical exclusions, and
48     reforestation:
49          NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Legislature of the state of Utah, the
50     Governor concurring therein, urges Utah's congressional delegation to develop and support
51     federal legislation to improve the federal wildfire funding process and management of the
52     nation's forests.
53          BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this resolution be sent to Utah's
54     congressional delegation, the Secretary of the United States Department of the Interior, the
55     Secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture, and the Chief of the United States
56     Forest Service.

Legislative Review Note
Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel