U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) today discussed his Prescribed Burn Approval Act of 2015, legislation that would require federal agency employees to collaborate with state and local officials before starting prescribed burns on federal lands. Thune’s remarks were made during a Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee hearing that reviewed pending Forest Service and forestry-related bills, including his bill, S. 1100.
Thune’s bill also would also make federal agencies liable and expedite the payment process for damages when federal employees start fires that damage private property.
Excerpt from Thune’s remarks:
“I’ve got a bill that addresses a situation that we’ve faced in the last couple of years in South Dakota. We’ve had two fires that have burned out of control … It happened two years ago up in Northwestern South Dakota and then more recently here in the Black Hills near Wind Cave. I’ve introduced a bill that very simply would require collaboration with the state and local entities before these prescribed burns are initiated.”
Click here to watch Senator Thune’s full remarks and Q&A with U.S. Department of Agriculture Under-Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment Robert Bonnie.