Hurricane Katrina Forest Recovery

As we work together to tackle the historic challenge that Hurricane Katrina has presented to the forestry communities of Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama, we hope that this blog will be a valuable resource and tool.

Monday, May 22

House Passes Forest Recovery Bill

The Forest Emergency Recovery and Research Act (FERRA), H.R. 4200, was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on May 17 with a bipartisan vote of 243-182.

The House considered four amendments offered to limit the scope of the bill or add additional analysis requirements. For example, Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA) proposed an amendment to prohibit restoration activities in roadless areas and Rep. Tom Udall (D-NM) proposed one to require the Forest Service to prove that recovery activities would not increase fire risk or decrease forest regeneration.

All were defeated. As passed, FERRA would require the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management to promptly evaluate restoration needs following a catastrophic event and would create an expedited process for conducting environmental review. Sen. Gordon Smith (R-OR) has introduced a similar bill in the Senate, S. 2079. The Senate is expected to hold hearings on the issue this summer.

For more information, contact Nadine Block at 202-463-2753,


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