Infrastructure Investment and Jobs law led by Sinema and shaped by Kelly provides $61 million for Arizona wildfire prevention in 2022 alone
The law provides a total of $3 billion for the United States Department of Agriculture and Forest Service to implement a 10-year strategy combatting wildfires
WASHINGTON - $61 million will be invested in Arizona in 2022 for wildfire prevention from the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs law led by Senator Kyrsten Sinema and shaped by Senator Mark Kelly.
Sinema and Kelly’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs law provides $3 billion to implement a 10-year plan to fight wildfires in Arizona and across the country, $61 million of which will be invested directly in Arizona for the implementation of the 4 Forests Restoration Initiative (4FRI) as well as in four critical recovery and mitigation projects: the Museum Fire Sediment Reduction Project, the Flagstaff Watershed Protection Project, the Coconino National Forest Cragin Watershed Protection Project, and the Tonto National Forest Cooperative Forest Restoration Project
“Increasing wildfires threaten the health and safety of Arizona communities -- this $61 million investment from our infrastructure law will prevent and mitigate the impacts of wildfires and boost recovery across Arizona,” said Sinema, co-author and lead negotiator of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs law.
“Today’s wildfires, worsened by changing climate and historic drought, cause more and more damage in Arizona each year. But now, thanks to the bipartisan infrastructure law we passed, Arizonans living in high fire-risk environments can expect to see record levels of investment in forest health initiatives that will ultimately help make our state more resilient to wildfires,” said Kelly.
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 Act provides $250 million for the remediation of Forest Service legacy roads and trails.
- Community Defense Grants: The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act invests $500 million for Forest Service Community Defense Grants. o Burned Area Rehabilitation: The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act 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 Act 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 Act 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 Act 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 Act 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 Act 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 Act 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 Act 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.