Grassland Conservation Reserve Program Signup for 2023 Underway

April 19, 2023

With another wildlife season just around the corner, this week Wyoming U.S. Senator John Barrasso the ranking member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, delivered remarks to U.S. Forest Service (USFS) Chief Randy Moore regarding President Biden's budget request for the U.S. Forest Service for Fiscal Year 2024.

“To be clear, the Forest Service faces enormous challenges in the fight against wildfires,” said Barrasso. “One-third of our National Forests are at serious risk to being consumed by catastrophic fires.

Press Play to watch Sen. Barrasso's remarks:

Barrasso said that there is bipartisan concern over how the USFS manages the nations forests and grasslands to prevent catastrophic wildfire.

“There is broad agreement among members of this committee - both sides of the aisle - that the historic forest fire treatment levels are totally inadequate to meet the challenge,” Barrasso stated. While I support robust funding for the efforts, I’m not convinced that we can simply just spend our way out of problems that have plagued our forests for decades."

The Biden Administration is requesting $7.4 billion in discretionary appropriations for the U.S. Forest Service which amounts to a 52% increase over current funding levels.

Western members of Congress like Barrasso want the USFS to prioritize its needs especially in an era of historic budget deficits to do a better job of protecting our western landscapes and communities from catastrophic wildfires.

During his testimony to the Senate committee, USFS Chief Randy Moore stated that agency is focused on three areas for the fiscal year 2024.

“The fiscal year 2024 President’s Budget for the USDA Forest Service discretionary appropriations totals $7.4 billion for base programs and $2.3 billion for the wildfire suppression cap adjustment (in the Wildfire Suppression Operations Reserve Fund),” said Moore. “The fiscal year 2024 request focuses on three primary areas: modernizing the wildland fire management system; confronting the wildfire crisis; and ensuring equitable access to and benefits from the National Forest System.”

To read USFS Chief Randy Moore's entire testimony click here.

Source: Western Ag Network, U.S. Sen. John Barrasso