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Forest Health

Overview:

The Greater Flagstaff Chamber has monitored the developments of the Four Forest Restoration Initiative (4FRI). Keeping our forests healthy while protecting our citizens and wildlife from devastating fires is a top concern. Initially the Chamber had reservations that the selected contractor, Pioneer, would not be able to fulfill its contractual obligations, and that the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) was lowering expectations and goals for thinning the forests to account for setbacks.

The Chamber has worked closely with Senators McCain and Flake, as well as Representative Gosar, to seek answers from the USFS in how they planned to protect the Northern Arizona region from a devastating fire when the project was dangerously behind schedule. In July of 2013, Senator Flake introduced legislation to renew the Forest Service’s authority to enter into stewardship contracts such as 4FRI, while also removing some of the barriers that have kept 4FRI moving slowly. The Chamber, in cooperation with Mayor Nabours, Flagstaff Forty, and the Economic Collaborative of Northern Arizona signed a letter of strong support of this legislation.

In September of last year, the USFS announced that Pioneer had been sold and the 4FRI contract transferred to Good Earth Power Arizona LLC, a subsidiary of Good Earth Power International, headquartered in the Sultanate of Oman. In a press conference held during the announcement, the USFS said it had determined Good Earth Power to be financially sound and able to fulfill the obligations of the original contract.

Next Steps:

Support Senator Jeff Flake's legislation, the Stewardship Contracting Reauthorization & Improvement Act. Continue to work with our partners in Flagstaff and government officials to see that the 4FRI project is a success.

Legislative Watch:

S. 1300
Sponsor: Jeff Flake (AZ)
Title: Stewardship Contracting Reauthorization & Improvement Act
Status: PASSED - Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee. Advances to full Senate.

Chamber Position: SUPPORT

H.R. 1345
Sponsor: Paul Gosar (AZ-4)
Title: Catastrophic Wildfire Prevent Act
Status: Signed into law as a part of H.R. 2642

Chamber Position: SUPPORT

S. 2593
Sponsor: John McCain (AZ)
Title: FLAME Act Amendments of 2014
Status: Under consideration by Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee.

Chamber Position: SUPPORT

Additional Material:

Letter of support to Congressman Gosar: Catastrophic Wildfire Prevention Act

Letter of support to Senator Flake: Stewardship Contracting Reauthorization & Improvement Act

Letter to Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee supporting S.1300

Letter to Senator McCain support S. 2593