Issues of concern to people who live in the west: property rights, water rights, endangered species, livestock grazing, energy production, wilderness and western agriculture. Plus a few items on western history, western literature and the sport of rodeo... Frank DuBois served as the NM Secretary of Agriculture from 1988 to 2003. DuBois is a former legislative assistant to a U.S. Senator, a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Interior, and is the founder of the DuBois Rodeo Scholarship.
Friday, December 16, 2016
Heitkamp law passes, Forest Service must consult localities about prescribed burns
President Barack Obama signed a bill into law
Wednesday night that would require the U.S. Forest Service to consult
local officials before initiating a prescribed burn on USFS lands when
there is an extreme fire danger. U.S.
Sens. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., and John Thune, R-S.D., passed Senate
bill 3395, the Prescribed Burn Approval Act of 2016. The two senators
introduced the legislation after the Pautre fire in 2013, which was a
prescribed burn aiming to cover about 100 acres in northwestern South
Dakota before escalating into a 16,000-acre uncontrolled fire that
burned for several days destroying millions of dollars worth of property
in North Dakota and South Dakota, according to Heitkamp's press
release. "The Forest Service needs to listen when ranchers and
first responders say conditions are unsafe for a burn — and this bill
will help guarantee that happens," said Heitkamp, according to the press
release. "The Pautre wildfire was completely preventable, making it
obvious that the Forest Service hasn't done enough to listen to local
communities in North Dakota and beyond. Our bipartisan bill will help
prevent what happened in 2013 from happening again, which will help
protect our ranchers, their property, and valuable grasslands."... more
For those interested in the coordination issue I've embedded S. 3395 below. It basically bans prescribed burns when extreme fire conditions exist with one exception, and that is if they coordinate with state and local officials.