Infrastructure Investment and Jobs law led by Sinema and shaped by Kelly provides the Four Forests Restoration Initiative (4FRI) and the city of Prescott $188.7 million for wildfire mitigation efforts
WASHINGTON – $188.7 million will be invested in Arizona wildfire mitigation efforts for the City of Prescott and the Four Forests Restoration Initiative (4FRI) from the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs law led by Senator Kyrsten Sinema and shaped by Senator Mark Kelly.
The investments comes as part of the USDA Forest Service’s 10-year wildfire strategy: Confronting the Wildfire Crisis: A Strategy for Protecting Communities and Improving Resilience in America’s Forests. The initial investment in 10 landscapes in Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho, Montana, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona will lead to about 208,000 acres of wildfire risk reduction treatments.
“Increasing wildfires threaten the health and safety of Arizona communities. Our bipartisan infrastructure law’s historic investments in wildfire mitigation will prevent wildfires and boost recovery efforts across our state,” said Senator Sinema, co-author and lead negotiator of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs law.
“The funding we secured in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will advance forest restoration projects that can reduce the severity of wildfires in Arizona” said Senator Mark Kelly. “This fire season has the potential to be very active, and projects like those announced today are critical for protecting our most at-risk forest communities.”
Sinema led bipartisan Senate negotiations with Republican Senator Rob Portman of Ohio that included Senator Kelly and senators from both parties.
The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs law makes historic investments in strengthening and upgrading critical infrastructure systems to prevent and mitigate the impacts of wildfires and boost recovery from such disasters. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act authorizes and funds $8.25 billion for wildfire management, resiliency, restoration, and natural resources-related infrastructure. This includes:
- Road and Trail Remediation: The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs law provides $250 million for the remediation of Forest Service legacy roads and trails.
- Community Defense Grants: The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs law invests $500 million for Forest Service Community Defense Grants.
- Burned Area Rehabilitation: The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs law provides $450 million for the Forest Service and the Department of Interior to carry out Burned Area Rehabilitation programs.
- Hazardous Fuels: The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs law provides $2.4 billion for the Forest Service and the Department of Interior to reduce hazardous fuels on federal, state, and tribal lands. This funding would also go toward completing mechanical thinning, prescribed fires, firebreaks, Good Neighbor Agreements, and forest stewardship contracts that are at least 10,000 acres, among other forest management activities.
- Fireweather Testbed Programs: The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs law invests $100 million in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Fireweather Testbed programs. These funds will be used to procure new systems and recapitalize existing and outdated systems to improve wildfire prediction, detection, observation, modeling, and forecasting.
- Forecasting and Detecting Drought: The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs law invests $80 million in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s high-performance computing — allowing the agency to improve drought, flood, and wildfire prediction, detection, and forecasting.
- Mitigating and Recovering from Wildfires: The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs law clarifies that the Emergency Relief program may include repairing damage from natural disasters over a wide area caused by wildfires — and allows the use of Emergency Relief program funding for protective features to mitigate the risk of recurring damage or the cost of future repairs from natural disasters.
- Watershed Protection: The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs law provides $300 million in funding for the Emergency Watershed Protection Program to help local communities recover after wildfires.
- Wildland Fire Mitigation & Management Commission Act: The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs law includes this bipartisan bill, which was unanimously approved in the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, establishing a commission to study and recommend wildland fire prevention, mitigation, suppression, management, and rehabilitation policies.
- REPLANT Act: The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs law includes this legislation, which removes the current yearly cap on the Reforestation Trust Fund, and will help the U.S. Forest Service plant 1.2 billion trees on national forest lands, creating nearly 49,000 jobs over the next decade.
The bipartisan infrastructure law was supported by groups including The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Business Roundtable, The National Association of Manufacturers, The AFL-CIO, The National Retail Federation, The Bipartisan Policy Center, North America’s Building Trades Unions, the Outdoor Industry Association, The American Hotel and Lodging Association, The National Education Association, as well as hundreds of mayors across all 50 states.