On 10 April 2009, six congressional committee and subcommittee leaders asked President Obama to include $40 million in the upcoming FY 2010 federal budget proposal for large-scale, high-priority forest restoration projects. This money was authorized by the Forest Landscape Restoration Act (FLRA), part of the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 signed into law by Obama in March.
The Forest Landscape Restoration Act is meant to improve watershed and habitat function, reduce wildfire management costs, and help local economies. The $40 million per year authorized by the FLRA would create a national fund that would supplement local and state funds and could be used to pay for up to half the cost of restoration projects. To be eligible for funds, a project would have to span 10 years and 50,000 acres, use the best available science, maximize preservation of large trees, be collaboratively developed, and make use of the woody biomass produced by projects.
The letter was signed by leaders of forest and natural resources-related committees. Signatories included Senators Jeff Bingaman (NM), Ron Wyden (OR), and Dianne Feinstein (CA), and Representatives Nick Rahall (WV), Raul Grijalva (AZ), and Norm Dicks (WA).
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