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Committee on AgricultureConservation and ForestryCommittee on Natural ResourcesIntroducedFebruary 25th, 2013
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Healthy Forest Management and Wildfire Prevention Act
To address the bark beetle epidemic, drought, deteriorating forest health conditions, and high risk of wildfires on National Forest System land and land under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Land Management in the United States by expanding authorities established in the Healthy Forest Restoration Act of 2003 to provide emergency measures for high-risk areas identified by such States, to make permanent Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management authority to conduct good-neighbor cooperation with States to reduce wildfire risks, and for other purposes.
Healthy Forest Management and Wildfire Prevention Act - Declares that the bark beetle epidemic, drought, and deteriorating forest health conditions on National Forest System land and public lands, with the resulting imminent risk of devastating wildfires, is an imminent threat within the meaning of roadless area management regulations applicable to a state. Allows a state governor or the Secretary of Agriculture (USDA), with respect the National Forest System, or of the Interior, with respect to public lands, to designate high-risk areas of the national forests and public lands in the state for purposes of addressing: (1) deteriorating forest health conditions due to the bark beetle epidemic or drought, with the resulting imminent risk of devastating wildfires; and (2) the future risk of insect infestations or disease outbreaks through preventative treatments to improve forest health conditions. Excludes wilderness areas and national monuments from designation as high-risk areas. Establishes a 20-year period for such high-risk area designation. Allows a governor or the Secretary, upon designation of a high-risk area, to provide for the development of proposed emergency hazardous fuels reduction projects for the area. Applies the administrative and judicial review processes of the Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003, with modifications, to such projects. Authorizes the Secretary concerned to enter into cooperative agreements and contracts with state foresters to provide forest, rangeland, and watershed restoration and protection services that include: (1) activities to treat insect infected trees; (2) activities to reduce hazardous fuels; and (3) any other activities to restore or improve forest, rangeland, and watershed health, including fish and wildlife habitat. Permits state foresters to enter into subcontracts to provide such restoration and protection services. Amends the Department of the Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1999 to extend the authority to enter, and the duration of, contracts to perform services to achieve land management goals for national forests that meet local and rural community needs.