(Photo credit: American Trails)
ARRA Weighs In on Senate Infrastructure Package
As the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works consider provisions for the infrastructure package, ARRA weighed in on that discussion. ARRA submitted a letter to the chairs and ranking members of the respective committees and strongly supported the inclusion of H.R. 1864, The Recreational Trails Program (RTP) Full Funding Act of 2021, introduced by Reps. Peter Welch (D-At Large VT) and John Curtis (R-3rd UT). The RTP Full Funding Act would return more of the gas tax dollars that recreational interests already pay into the trust fund and allow them to be used for recreational trail development and maintenance. At a minimum, ARRA strongly supports the inclusion of the provisions outlined in H.R. 3684, INVEST in America Act, in the infrastructure package. The INVEST in America Act’s RTP provisions would also return more of the funding for recreational trails through an increase of up to 75% for the RTP.
After many grinding months and discussions, the Senate will debate the preliminary bipartisan agreement on a roughly $1 trillion infrastructure package and final passage of the measure could be weeks away.
Associate Chief Announced at Forest Service
As the U.S. Forest Service continues to build its leadership team under incoming Chief Randy Moore, Angela Coleman was appointed as Associate Chief for the Forest Service. Since January 2020, Coleman has served as acting associate chief and is now the second highest-ranking executive at the Forest Service.
“Angela’s experience across the spectrum of the Forest Service mission and her determination to serve all employees through her leadership has been demonstrated in countless ways during her tenure as the acting associate chief,” said Chief Christiansen. “I’m so pleased to announce she is taking on this role permanently.”
Before her new assignment, she served as Forest Service Chief of Staff beginning in 2015. She oversaw the Chief’s Office daily operations and staff, issues management, Office of Communications, and Legislative Affairs programs. She provided senior-level support to the Chief of the agency and the Executive Leadership Team to advance and deliver the agency’s natural resource conservation mission.
Recent BLM Activity
- Craig, Colo. – Stage 2 fire restrictions began Friday, June 25 at 12:01 a.m. for Bureau of Land Management (BLM) administered lands in Grand, Eagle, Summit, Routt, Moffat, Garfield, and Rio Blanco counties along with lands within the Kremmling, White River, and Little Snake Field Offices. Recent hot and windy conditions across northwest Colorado have dried out fuels providing optimal conditions for wildfires.
- Spokane, Wash. – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Spokane District issued a fire restrictions order. The fire restrictions order includes prohibiting the discharging of a firearm, except while engaged in lawful hunt pursuant to state, federal, or tribal law and regulations. The building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, including charcoal briquette fires, except when contained within provided metal rings, is also now prohibited. The temporary ban took effect July 1, 2021 at 12:01 a.m. in the following counties: Adams, Asotin, Benton, Chelan, Columbia, Douglas, Ferry, Franklin, Garfield, Grant, Kittitas, Klickitat, Lincoln, Okanogan, Pend Oreille, Spokane, Stevens, Walla Walla, Whitman, and Yakima.
- Carson City, Nev. – Due to drying vegetation, increasing daytime temperatures, and several human-caused fires, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Carson City District Office, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Western Nevada Agency, Bureau of Reclamation California – Great Basin, Nevada Division of Forestry (NDF), Public Domain Allotments, and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge Complex announced the implementation of fire restrictions on all lands under their jurisdiction effective Wednesday, June 30, at 12:01 a.m. and lasting until further notice.
- Worland, Wyo. — Due to dry conditions and high fire danger, Stage 1 Fire Restrictions began June 30 on public lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management Wind River/Bighorn Basin District’s Cody, Lander, and Worland field offices in Big Horn, Carbon, Fremont, Hot Springs, Natrona, Park, Sweetwater, and Washakie counties.
- George, Utah – Beginning June 30, 2021, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Arizona Strip District implemented Stage 2 fire restrictions. Fire restrictions are a tool many agencies use to restrict activities known to be the most common causes of wildfires. Continued dry conditions and an increase in wildfire activity throughout Arizona have led agencies to implement fire restrictions. Preventing wildfires keeps communities and firefighters safe; reducing their risk and exposure to injury, smoke, and disease.
Palm Springs, Calif. – The Bureau of Land Management temporarily closed public lands in and near Whitewater Canyon, in Riverside County, due to the potential threat of wildfire. The public safety closure began on Friday, July 2 and will remain in place until October 31.