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Noem Wants Forest Service Firefighting Funds To Come From FEMA

Lee Strubinger

Representative Kristi Noem met with Black Hills Forest Service officials to discuss legislation that she says will help the organization better manage the forest.

The Resilient Federal Forests Act passed the House and is now on its way to the Senate. Noem says the Forest Service has to use money from their operating budget to fight wildfires.

“A lot of the management dollars that should be used to maintain forests, instead, has been diverted in those emergency situations,” Noem says. “The bill that we passed in the house would stop that process, allow those forest service management dollars to stay put, while we pull money from FEMA in those crisis situations. That will protect those dollars to maintain those forests across the country, while still getting the dollars that we need to fight these catastrophic wildfires we’ve seen across the country.”

Noem says the bill also streamlines paperwork the forest service workers must fill out to address any environmental concerns.