South Dakota’s Dusty Johnson introduces FIRE Act addressing downed trees
South Dakota Representative Dusty Johnson says his Forestry Improvements to Restore the Environment – or FIRE Act – will restore forest health and produce climate resilient landscapes. The Republican lawmaker says the FIRE Act streamlines the process for the timber industry to get downed trees out of the forest, which he says relates to recent conversations in Congress about carbon.
“We know that if you can get that timber out of there, turn it into things, desks, chairs, other timber uses, it can hold that carbon for decades or hundreds of years,” Congressman Johnson told reporters Tuesday afternoon. “If you let it rot in the forest that carbon is released back into the atmosphere.”
The FIRE Act requires the Forest Service to get timber impacted by a wildfire ready for sale within 60 days after the fire is contained. It also would enable rural communities to get salvage timber to market. Johnson says that increases financial benefits to local communities and funding for restoration.