Senate Passes Pombo-Feinstein Tribal Forest Protection Act
June 25, 2004
Contact Brian Kennedy at 202-226-9019
Washington, D.C. - Today the U.S Senate passed H.R. 3846, the
H.R. 3846 establishes a process for
tribes to work with federal agencies to perform hazardous fuel
reduction and forest health projects on federal lands adjacent to
tribal lands in order to prevent catastrophic wildfire.
"As another devastating fire
season begins in the West, the Congress has acted again to protect
Americans and their lands from the threat of catastrophic
wildfire," Chairman Pombo said.
"The Healthy Forests Restoration Act focused needed
attention and assistance on serious problems concerning forest health,
particularly the explosive build-up of hazardous fuels in federal
forests. We emphasized
community participation and protection in that bill, and that is
exactly what we are doing for Native American tribes in this new
In the summer of 2003, nearly 20 Indian reservations were devastated by wildfire that came from adjacent federal lands.
Over half occurred in
Two of the reservations were burned entirely to the ground.
"California Tribes have
suffered from devastating wildfires in recent years," Senator
Feinstein said. "Passage of this Act is an important step forward
in preventing more of these tragedies on Tribal lands.
By involving Tribes in brush-clearing projects on federal lands near
their reservations, this legislation will give Native American Tribes across
the country the chance to protect their ancestral lands from
The bill follows the bipartisan work on the Healthy Forests Restoration Act signed into law last year. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) has worked closely with Chairman Pombo on the legislation and introduced a companion bill in the Senate, S. 2134.