U.S. Sens. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), both members of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, today applauded the passage of several conservation provisions included in the 2018 Farm Bill conference report. These measures were originally included in the bipartisan Restoring America’s Watersheds Act, Flake and Heinrich’s bill to protect, restore, and improve the health of watersheds in national forests.
“Sen. Heinrich and I have toured the forests of Eastern Arizona and have seen the success of forest restoration efforts in reducing fire risks, protecting communities, and safeguarding our water quality," said Flake. "These important measures will allow similar collaborative projects in watersheds throughout the country."
“I'm proud to pass these common-sense measures to improve the management of watersheds in our national forests and reduce the risks of costly catastrophic wildfires,” said Heinrich. “We are living in an era of severe drought, extreme wildfires, and climate disruption. We must utilize the best available science and deliver resources to help our communities promote long-term sustainable use of our land and water.”
Flake and Heinrich’s conservation measures included in the Farm Bill would:
· Prioritize fire-impacted watersheds and encourage partnerships with non-federal stakeholders to invest in forests that provide important water resources
· Encourage collaboration in restoring our forests' health and establish the Water Source Protection Program within the U.S. Forest Service
· Provide much-needed jobs in the forest products industry in rural communities by clarifying and enhancing the U.S. Forest Service's ability to partner with communities
To view a PDF of the conservation measures, click here.