tv U.S. Forest Service Chief Testifies on 2020 Budget Request CSPAN May 17, 2019 12:00am-1:20am EDT
>> [inaudible conversations] good morning everyone the meeting will come to order this is the fiscal year 2020 budget proposal for the forest service welcoming also john who serves as the acting director of the office planning budget and accountability thank you both for being with us today. the budget request for forest service fi 2020 is five
five.14 billion this is less than the inactive level not including one.95 billion proposed to be made by the wildfire cap adjustment including that adjustment brings the overall for service total seven.09,000,002,020 marks the first year of the wildfire cap adjustment that was created to allow the for service to address fire suppression needs without disrupting activities and with that repayment cycle and the lack of budget certainty. the wildfire cap adjustment is more than just adequately funding wildfire to make sure that it supports can deliver is time to focus to modernize and improve the budget structure secure the cap adjustment is the first phase
with the budgeting practices to propose a bert fund budget restructure thank you for your work in the bipartisan and bicameral way to deliver results the request plays a heavy emphasis on the stewardship initiative. to recognize we can be better stewards of natural resources a state and local government toward a common goal. for that initiative to excel with the resiliency in and around the urban interface congress has routinely invested hundreds of millions of dollars annually and of our
communities rely on the recreation for economic diversity in the southeast region i'm always disappointed to see those cut in the budget request to go on record with my strong support for those activities the largest national forest is a rain forest made up of communities to address our unique characteristics and the challenges to those people who live and work there we are working with you in the state of alaska. so to reiterate once again every elected official representing southeast alaska to the delegation here in congress alaskans know best what it needs and then to
struggle and then what that stewardship to work thank you for being with us i look forward to your testimony for your willingness to serve. >> also welcome to have you before the subcommittee for the first time we had that opportunity last year because we moved quickly for the mockup to have you here today. and by playing quickly we
could bring that interior bill to the senate floor for the first time and that's what happens when we come together and hopefully we can do that this year as we are committed to doing that for god like to commend you for taking strong public action in response to sexual harassment and discrimination within the ranks of the forest service more work to be done to ensure a safe workplace for all staff we are here to give you the tools and resources you need to continue that effort. i share the chairman's concerns about the budget proposal that they have sent you here to defend. despite all we know about changing climate and degradation and despite the tools we gave you of the wildfire compression funding that was part of fiscal year on the bus and despite the additional authorities provided in the 2018 farm bill , this proposed budget fails to make the investments needed to improve the conditions of
watersheds to prevent disease and fire with wide scratch - - widespread path across the landscape. what makes it particularly troubling is fi 2020 the first fiscal year the services able to utilize this allows the forest service to budget for a set amount of fire suppression funding as many and as have been lately outside that discretionary budget caps becomes available they are finally putting a stop to fire borrowing on those dollars that should be spent on intended purposes. $654million for fire suppression in 2019 while the four service was not assured
from the fire cap it was my hope the administration would use a portion to reinvest in fire prevention and forest restoration to get ahead of the cycle of those catastrophic fires only burning faster and hotter until conditions continue to change. what did the administration do cracks $948 million is 16 percent cut to reduce grants for the forest action plans and urban forestry fire department assistant and conservation recommending $45 million for research illuminating the federal legacy and landscape restoration programs and no funding for the land and water conservation fund.
these all work together to safeguard the forest frankly i have seen firsthand when wildfires tear through a community in my home state the white water fire scorched more than 300,000 acres this is happening all across the united states eight.7 million acres consumed by fire in 2018. 2017 and 2015 saw over 10 million acres burned. sadly this is the new normal. for us to free up discretionary spending for restoration at a time when wildfires are burning at record levels the four services cutting back on programs to help prevent fires. the only significant increase
of the budget proposal is $15 million. we all agree removing hazardous fuel affects fire prevention measure to provide that extra for hazardous fuel cutting 15 million from state fire assistance. the question is what level of protection are we getting cracks does it really reduce fire risk by such a factor we can cut by 15 million like volunteer fire assistance and cross boundary forest assistance by 12 million even worse the budget estimate that could be treated with $450 million remains the same in the fiscal year estimate of three.4 million. when a proposed $387 million for the activity i don't see
how that improves our fire readiness. congress enacted the fire cap to stop the forest service from turning into the fire service. i am concerned this budget only speeds up that transition. we should not jeopardize the future health of our forest by cutting programs that prevent fires through management and restoration of national forest to assist state and private landowners to do the same. one concrete step we can take is to pass a supplemental response to the needs of all americans suffering from natural disasters both the house versions i support include repayment of the $720 million bar last year even though the administration has not requested repayment , funding is available for this summer. we also need your help to extend the fire cap beyond the initial two-year authority.
i know your fire chief is doing the utmost to clamp down on unnecessary cost but waste fraud and abuse cannot be tolerated misuse cannot help extend what is the essential tool for combating the escalating needs to fight catastrophic fires and redirecting the forest service budget to land management rather than fire suppression. one bright spot is the public land infrastructure fund by accessing energy development not dedicated to planned water conservation fund and previous iterations of this proposal the forest service proposal includes all land management agencies this is a positive change i look forward to working on this issue to revert on - - reduce the deferred maintenance backlog working together once again to have the resources to do the
job from hawaii to alaska to new mexico or puerto rico to help the american people enjoy benefits for generations to come thank you madam chairman to make thank you senator udall. we will turn to you for your comments then we will have plenty of time for questions. thank you for being here we look forward to your statement. >> madam chairman ranking member thank you for inviting me to testify today i do deeply appreciate your support to working on improving the conditions of the nations forest to the active management of innovation and not doing business as usual. i will update you on two areas
of the work first progress to overcome challenges to steward the grasslands the plan for 2020 and the work to champion a strong workforce. in terms of work on the ground we have made good use of funds new authorities and tools to confront the threats facing forest and communities we are building off a 20 year high of forest treatments last year which yielded three.2 billion feet of timber and we also treated three.4 million acres to reduce hazardous fuels surpassing air annual target it is the preferred mode for doing work it is our best chance to improve the health of all forests. reaching out to reduce fire
risk and health communities we have executed nearly 200 good neighbor agreements in 37 states to get more work done on the national forest. we are foraging stewardship agreements that have mutual goals and priorities of large-scale secretary produce sign the first of the western governors association and recently signed shared stewardship agreements with idaho and washington state and more are on the way. internally nearing completion of critical reforms that each process reduces cost to break the barriers that slow the work.
we are completing work that streamlines the decision process to meet our environmental responsibility. as part of the effort we expect to release our new findings later this summer taking steps to be more cost-effective in pursuing long-term actions to reduce cost we are improving our financial accountability. we have geared up new authorities to put more science -based tools in the toolbox to do more work and expansion of the good neighbor authority in those provisions that are rapidly put to good use. the forest service is well positioned to build on this momentum the president's budget places an emphasis on her work to focus on reducing risk and grassland conditions contributing to rural economies. does reflect tough choices and
trade-offs building on the stewardship approach and fy 20 the damaging practice of fire transfer will likely become part of the past. we will no longer sacrifice critical work to pay for firefighting. one.3billion-dollar request for fire preparedness helps us to be ready for another tough fire year lastly the mission success depends on a highly skilled motivated workforce and we will continue our work to end sexual harassment last year we listen to employees and learn from them enacted to bring about change. today employees are better equipped with new tools and stricter policies and a new code of conduct and supervisory support. we will soon ban alcohol at all shared housing. these actions are necessary to
achieve sustained cultural change. it will not happen as quickly as we would like, but i am determined to lead a permanent change in the forest service. in turn we will make good on investments of this congress to provide the services and the sound stewardship this nation deserves. thank you i'm looking forward to q&a's to make thank you chief. i appreciate that. let's move into questions. i want to start with something that senator udall raised which is the proposal to cut both the state fire assistance and the volunteer fire assistance.
what i don't understand is you have the state and local agencies that are literally the first responders. as i understand it 78 percent of the time in 2018 whether on state or federal land those agencies that are there first these two programs trained over 119,000 firefighters last year alone providing 17 million in funding for local departments both significantly reduced overall federal fire suppression cost with these departments to attack the wildfires when they are small. i am with the senator on this i don't get why you would undercut this funding at the state and local levels?
it seems to me this gives you extraordinary leverage with just a little bit of funding. what is the rationale behind that quick. >> we are aware of the leverage of the volunteer's fire assistance as a former forster in two different states, it is a partnership. it is a system that we have no one organization can do it alone. we leverage our strengths and of course the local firefighters are there immediately and community. so there is an investment. we still have a request but it
is reduced because we had to make very tough choices and trade-offs of conditions of america's forests to meet the administrations instructions to reduce our request by 5 percent. so in doing that we had to be very specific and focused. improving the conditions of the forest to reduce long-term risk from fire and the sustained economy those are tough choices we would be happy to work with you on this. >> chief, i recognize before you were chief you were a firefighter on the ground. i thank you know well that by the significant reductions the message to those first responders at the state and local level is we will handle
it on the federal side i don't think that's the message you want to send our that's the message these incredible men and women who are on the front lines deserve to hear. at a time we are conscious of the budget and where we need to be looking for reductions to undercut not only the assistance that we receive from those responding locally that again to recognize what that contribution means to that local economy if the goal is two-pronged then let's try to focus on the prevention side but also address the local economy. i can tell you first hand that in some of our more remote
communities it is the fire crews out on the front lines this is their whole economy during the summer that it is their income that they bring back to the village after fire season is over. i appreciate you saying you will work with us on this and i want to believe your heart is not in defending this cut and i think senator udall and i feel strongly this is not a place to be making a reduction like this. >>. you said it so well i cannot agree more. i think this is a strong message to you where we come in on this. we recently learned full payments for 2018 that senator murkowski and i would include the fire cap authorization we
are hit with a sequester i asked my staff to look into it at the budget office told us you were correcting that decision in the counties will receive full payments can you would tell me when you expect those to be issued quick. >> thank you. you are correct there were different interpretations of the sequestration should be applied. that has been corrected we distributed those funds to the states earlier this week and they should be hitting the actual states by the end of this week. it has been executed. >> the check is in the mail. and you have been through this a lot but the money is very important for education, law enforcement and we need to
make sure that they know they will be getting them. as i stated unfocused to ensure the fire cap last beyond the current two-year authorization so we need the forest service to be judicious we need your help to show this is to retain the authority. to keep a watchful eye on spending to give your budget director the tools they need to track these expenditures so every dollar is a dollar well spent. >> absolutely and the plan that i am briefed on regularly we know that congress has put faith in us we will be a good
investment with prevention on the ground we don't see the new account as a blank check. we have several things in play for accountability and to ensure contracts are the right size we don't want to not be ready for fire season but have the right resources and i will be happy to brief you more on that front. >> how does the president's budget enable them to adequately address the pay scale necessary to restore america's forest to reduce the dominating service of fire suppression you ask the heart of the question we are working
hard on. our forces across the nation are in peril and we know that. we really need to work on bringing those that will do the most. it's not just trading the most acres but treating the right acres that is the call to action and alaska's needs will be slightly different than new mexico so we want to be in conversation meeting at the state level to talk about that. that is our approach. not from federal dominance but we are all in this together looking at the landscape. as we talked about it's about putting our focus to improve conditions in the resiliency of the forest because without
the forest everything else the recreation, the water, hunting and fishing and subsistence of everything else will be compromised significantly so we are laser focused on reducing the risk of the landscape. we know we cannot spending all our money on increasing complexity of fire but we need to demonstrate we are making good decisions with local communities so we are working on several fronts to find that right balance for that landscape. >> thank you so much for
taking on many challenges for our national forest and i could have similar topics fire is an enormous threat to the pacific northwest with two summers with a lot of fires during fire season and a lot more smoke damage of course at the same time we have a risk to towns in oregon we have devastating fires in california including paradise. so we were very pleased to see the fix. do you support extending that fix beyond a two-year period? >> yes. absolutely. were hoping to do everything we can to show it is a good investment to make a difference on the ground.
from the 2019 proposal and where we did put the focus was improving the conditions to reduce the wild land fire risk to the sustaining role in economies so that is how you will see the budget request we use more resources to get good work done on the ground. >> i didn't see that in your budget. i saw a slight increase in the management account and modest increase of $15 million yet there's hundreds of billions available with this chain and the calf. i also saw devastation to the program. we had three that doubled the amount of money that could be appropriated so we added 40 million to 80 million, and you cut 40 million out of 40 million to zero and they've
brought the two sides of the conversation, the environmental community, all of the local stakeholders into the room, worked out prescription, stayed out of the court could have done a tremendous amount of fitting into fuels reduction that makes it healthier. since this is one of the really big wins you are right about the collaborative efforts across the nation particularly in the northwest but many other places and the collaborative landscape restoration program has been a great success. it brings common shared values together and support for holistic treatment on the ground. because there's not a specific request doesn't mean we won't
continue to fund those efforts. it's just in the regular line items. you are not going to see a lot of close-ups in the request because we needed to reduce by 55% to 2019 request. so, in making those tough choices we focused on keeping stable our manager meant. >> i will jump to one other piece of this which is in fact we do not have a 5% cut because congress bipartisan ways means says it is extremely important, do you think that they are very important contributions to the work we are doing? >> absolutely. we could into th couldn't get te are doing without them. >> if we find the money we should do on the front end of.
to give you an example of 2.2 million acres a lot of people think it's the environmental rules. we have 2.2 million acres ready for fuel treatment. it's only an issue of whether or not we have the programs to fund that work and that means good jobs in the woods, the truck, a bitter force for ecosystem and timber production. all the way around when it is on so many fronts i want to see us do more of if not less. when they were up in the state about 15 years ago there were so
many parts of the peninsula and moved northward into south central. we've got about a million acres that have been invested in the valley on the peninsula. they were closed before they were even open because the next round of monitoring is in july expected to increase one of the problems with this is it destroys the health and it makes them more vulnerable to these fires when they come through and
so the budget proposes a 25% c cut. i'm asking the same question that i did before. i don't see how the cuts to this particular type of program where this is not just in alaska we will hear it in montana and colorado and other parts of the west where the beetle or different iterations of these insects are causing extensive damage. so can you speak to me about
what it is we are doing to make sure we've got adequate resources there to provide for the removal and wildfire protection plans. definitely reinforce how you describe the situation with the spruce beetle and its accelerated extensively over the last three years. our mission is to help sustain the land and we do that. >> just like fire, none of the boundaries, they don't respect
boundaries. what we were able to do immediately is we were able to find $2 million in the state and private funds to put into alaska because this was a all out effort collaborative that we are working on together. we find a new good neighbor agreement to do cross boundary work and the department of natural resources are all being proactive and to take out a hazardous trees. the hazardous trees. on the research and development side is to help provide a couple
of trials of treatment. we are doing some trials to see if there are ways we can help. i can get back to you on that. i don't have a full understanding that i'm not sure about. we are looking at how to keep the natural beatles of course, but how to keep them in balance. with respect to the funding we have two line items in a forest health the treats them as a
bundle because they know no boundaries but the cooperative is to invest in leverage with the state funds so that we can address a landscape scale problem. unfortunately, i've said beforet before we have to make some tough choices and trade-offs so the cooperative health was reduced not because we don't recognize that there's a problem that we've had to make some tough choices and we will always be as effective as we can with our investments leveraging good partnerships, and i think there are some good fun in alaska. if we want a partner we know we have to, but again as i think of those ways that we can help the federal government save money, the more we can put into the
upfront prevention end of it and the colleagues on the committee would agree those are monies that are well spent. let me go to senator james. i do appreciate your budget focused on the hazardous fuel reduction. it's a big deal in montana. i am disappointed that the administration has zeroed out the important land and water conservation fund following the vote in the senate to permanently authorize out of this is a critical tool to help facilitate and increased access to public land in places like montana for outdoor recreation
protecting the state's wildlife habitat or water quality providing a steady supply of you're still goinyour strugglinn fact one of the greatest staffs are funded at 70% of the fishing access across montana has come through l. wtf. congress made historic steps protecting the program by enacting permanent reauthorization in the bipartisan public land package in fact there are a few things that unite congress anymore. the public land package was one of them and it was a part of the that beginning though. i think that it's time we now back up what we saw earlier this year with full mandatory fundi
funding. as we do that we need the forest service to ensure the products are adequately assessed and ranked to ensure the fund range can be implemented and i know the zeroed out and i guarantee that this committee will find a much more robust fashion. can you make sure that our increased funding can be implemented effectively and quickly? >> let me just say we understand the extreme importance of access to the public lands. i would acknowledge the work congress bid on the public land
package is significant. we submitted a list of projects earlier this month to the committee so we stand ready to implement the congress would fund. >> thank you. i look forward to working with you on that. shifting gears for a moment, in dante and a we see a decrease in the recreational forest. any senator that spends probably more time in the wilderness areas than probably any senator here is spending a lot of time about 9,000 feet at times above 10,000 feet every summer than most members of congress. i certainly appreciate the value of the balance in the public land. too often across the state we hear about diminished access to
the treasured public lands because not everyone can claim to 10,000 feet with a 40 to 50-pound backpack. i think philly still can. someday there will be a point that i can't. they are walking out of sort uses such as mountain biking and snowmobiling in areas that are not that the oedipus wilderness. these are trails and some have used for literally duration, and now they are banned from that area. i wrote to you on march 7 regarding the troubling statement in a planning document stating it is challenging suggesting it should be avoided in a meeting with cyclist groups for more opportunities on a
forest fire to the finalization of the travel management plan we are trying to strike a balance there. some of the long-standing and existing access opportunities as you update this as well as other plans. >> absolutely, senator as i said we recognize the importance of access and it is balancing the usual mandates and it's about sitting down and working us out together and we will always commit to that it will be a priority.
i wanted to know whether you are familiar with the report sets out th the ways for the serviceo recognize the unique cultural heritage in new mexico and how to make the resources of the natural forest and forth they generate contribute more effectively in local communities. are you familiar with that report? >> i am familiar with that report that calls out the cycle of mistrust that we are working to be very aware, sensitively aware of the needs of the natives of new mexico. >> and it's i think your answer is very good at the 50-year-old document and while some of the statements within it are outdated and others are
inaccurate, i believe that it continues to give a valuable insight into how we view our land and how it should be managed. it should be required reading for all service employees in not just those working in new mexico because it sets up a framework for collaboration and the service. he stayed ashore they work hand in hand with land grants that are unique to the mexico on everything from forest plan revisions to guidance on a demented repair. they've conducted outstanding research to make sure that traditional communities have an opportunity for meaning: put. it's not an easy balancing act,
but i appreciate the work you and he are doing. i want to get a question on the farm bill that entered contracts with tribes for the forestry work on adjacent public lands. do you have a timeline for when they will start contracting with tribes using this new 638 authority, do you support this authority and are you going to be using it soon? >> thank you senator yes we support the new authority. i had a farm bill task group focused on implementation and we will have a template by early summer, and of course it
building the relationships. we have relation ships with the tribes in new mexico, but we need to have a willing partner so we are making sure we stand ready to do those self-determination contracts as quickly as possible. >> i noticed today you are actually doing a listening session between 1:00 and 2:30 eastern. >> you bet we are. >> in 2018, this is the question on the wildlife corridors in 2018 the secretary issued an order related to improving habitat for the big game species for the winter range and migration corridors but the goals and implementations of the order does not apply to the forest service. forest service. i believe the forest service is a crucial role in maintaining
the natural habitats and connectivity quarters for all including big game. whether you agree and what more can the forest service due in conjunction with other land managers to maintain wildlife corridors? >> we are certainly part of the landscape and are well aware and working at the local and regional level on that order together. it doesn't happen just on anterior lands. we rolled up our sleeves and we are doing shared planning together with our partners. >> you are probably well aware of the report that came out in terms of the injured species, so i think it's important that all of our public land managers and forest service the aware of that and try to work on this issue. thank you very much, madam chair. >> thank you, senator.
let me follow up on the conversation that we had when you testified before the energy committee on the volume can you explain the volume offered and outside of 2017 how much is reoffered from prior years that didn't sell? do you have that information? the >> i don't have the specific information. i don't want to guess. >> if you can help me with that in her standing what i'm looking for is to try to understand what would be, what would have been an offer from prior years but then going forward, if those
were re- authors, why would the forest service expect that these sales are going to be of interest to the industry now? >> i am trying to understand where we are with the volumes. >> i want to make sure we confirm specifics we don't just offer and then hope for a different result a few months later and offered again. we will look back at what was the factor. there are times it might be market forces at many other times at least where a part of why it didn't get a purchaser or a bed would be because we were requiring too much or it's how we defined the sale or too much roadwork whatever it might be so we will take a critical review. we have folks that come in and do their preview to say what is
it that this needs to have the viability to be viable in the future. >> do you take feedback or input from the industry? >> absolutely. i just want to make sure i have an accurate description of what's happening on the ground right now. the timber sale program includes both growth and since the plan was adopted, forest service hasn't even come close to meeting the annual volume target offered but the key figure which is the volumes folder is only
31% of the target and they continue to go downhill if you look at just the volumes sold that only 22% of the targets so my assessment is the forest service continues to struggle with its efforts to identify, design and style economic sales and what does that here is the new forest plan, the conservation overlay between the 77 into the nature conservancy priority areas and his plans with a loss of those areas where the exemption these have all come together to contribute to a shrinking land based not makes it difficult to actually practice active forest management. i think this last planning
around has pushed forest service over the edge and even in the best of circumstances, implementation is failing to produce sufficient timber in terms of volume to sustain the industry and communities, so am i getting an accurate description of where we are today with these overlays, and what that actually takes off the table in terms of anything that could be considered an economic sales? >> i would frame it slightly different. in the short term and in the longer term. in the short term, i you are absolutely right about the challenges. in the short-term, we have plans to operate on. and as you know, -- >> w >> we would agree that is both very short-term.
>> i'm talking about the next 15 to 25 years. we've taken on efforts for two large landscape assessments. so, we have had for clarence and be ready to provide volume both old-growth and the second growth in the years to come. the prince of wales landscape assessment was, you know, a really diverse collaborative that came together to look at the multiple values including old-growth timber and the second growth that we -- and i just spoke with the regional forest or in the last week, and they've made the shifts and they have 40 million board feet being old-growth predominantly old-growth to put up for sale, and about 20% of that was helicopter logging.
debris shifted because they no longer have the helicopter contract. and you know, so now it is the design of sale that can be sold. we are working in earnest on -- it is a challenge and i would be glad to work with you more and even come up to alaska to roll up our sleeves and look at this. for the longer term, we know that there are changes that need to be made to the new plan, some common sense changes. now that we have this underway into the prince of wales and the large landscape we are working on those amendments so that we can -- we have total agreement so we have more access to land in the longer term and those amendments should be done in the next six to nine months. >> we do have a great deal to
work on, and we are trying to have conversation actually we've had a couple of good sit downs with the secretary to try to, again reinforce with him why a total exemption is what makes sense in the tongass. and really to convey with every overlay whether it's the implications of the roadless, the 77, the conservation priority areas, with each one of these you take off the table and opportunity for a level of access and volume that i have bn put you below these targets that
to acknowledge what goes on in the forest to work with us to balance what you mentioned the collaborative was embraced by a lot of people and i thought it was a good outcome for go no good deed goes unpunished. but we are really committed to dig deep and be committed. >> the science continues to show us to play a significant role in climate change with the cause and effects of climate change to restore carbon to stabilize the
ecosystem in fact it has 118 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions what programs in this budget will increase the services and do you have a plan to tackle the backlog of the restoration projects quack. >> thank you for bringing that up senator. a number of states in my head the forest sequester 12 percent of carbon emissions in this nation and the value of the forest you are correct we have a backlog with a
with a budget request and that's because of those difficult choices. we appreciate your concern. >> on the collaborative and in the opening statement for collaborative forces with restoration also known as the cfl are at it funds 23 projects and of the subcommittee mississippi missouri montana and oregon and in the southwest these are to come public and private
land managers but those forest ecosystems. and because those are national for system land. in my to understand the forest service would walk away from the cfl are projects if it was adopted quack. >> no. you are not to assume that to be extremely successful it is amazing what it does to bring those communities together to have those multiple facets of success.
and then going into the season and tourist i have been asking for a map that shows the distribution of those permitted areas under those allocated use and it's my understanding as we go through the application process for a permit we should sit down with those folks there in the community to show where those permitted areas are. i know - - don't understand why it's so hard to get a map on these recreation areas. can you check into that for me quack.
>> absolutely i was not aware of that request i will put my emphasis point on that. >> they exist in the state but we would like to have the bigger map are these digitized so the information is available quack. >> are they publicly available cracks that i don't know. >> if you could check on that that would be appreciated for guy talk about this a lot but are equally significant forest undergoing land management revision that is long overdue dating back to 2002. last summer report published and the comment period closed in november.
i heard from a lot of folks that the plan does not do enough on access for all multiple uses indicated in particular they say doesn't have timber harvest or mineral or recreation activities. so the question is on the plan revision status. there were some concerns raised by native corporations that to put that in context of the planned revision. i don't know if you are anticipating any changes in management to this area or if you can discuss where we are with the plan quack.
>> that environmental impact statement draft is out and that's why is for public review talking with the regional forster last week he is personally watching over this process to ensure the comments received are truly integrated in the best way we can in the final plans. so similar things that you just summarized we have heard as well. yes furcal we have heard those but also what will be considered you will see a difference i'm sure in the final plan. >> any indication when we could see that quack. >> factoring in the process we
hope to have the final plan out by fall of this year. >> last question is relating to where we are given the fact we have not been able to resolve the disaster supplemental. there has been discussions about how the forest service is made whole from the borrowing from last year and we recognize those funds represent critical wildfire spending but also other parts because we didn't have access to the wildfire cap adjustment. i am hopeful we have a final supplemental to include the
firebird repayment but i want to make sure i understand what forest service is planning for the fire season if we don't have supplemental before the season kicks into high gear. i did nothing quite honestly we would be sitting here may 15 and not have able to sign off on this. so i'm surprised were having this conversation but can you share any steps you are taking to prepare for fire season given the uncertainty? and then share with the committee the consequences not to be repaid to date and the consequences for the remainder of the fiscal year. i know this is all worst case
scenario but we need a plan. >> thank you for the question. this is one of the things that does keep me up at night. you are right there are twofold concerns to get the amount of work done on the ground you have to plan like you have it. they are stepping up with the strike teams and all of that. >> good. we don't want them to sit and wait. >> right. i said the money is coming and it isn't there. so to switch the bottom line is it has had an effect to get less work done but the other big question that you point out is these accounts will not
be replenished that we use from the borrowing activity and if we have to deal with potential fires. the protections for fire for this season again are significant one.6 million between two.8 billion-dollar fire year. one.7 billion suppression so you set that up absolutely so the likelihood we would be in that situation is significant for this year so without having those accounts replenished we have to put together drafting plans with
those contracts and agreements we already have on the ground. >> i guess that is a clear warning to us that hopefully that's a scenario we will not see. it does hurt to hear that we are anticipating another ugly and very disastrous fire season that we cannot be at 100 percent with this situation. senator udall and i are prepared to go through another hearing if you would like to close that out you are welcome to do so. >> you can have two questions you also have the gavel. >> thank you.
>> the forest management is so important from montana i have to ask another question. i really appreciate the 2020 budget focus on reducing the wildland fire risk. i also want to make sure the four service has all the tools it needs to make our community safer. looking back at 2014 farm bill 2018 oh of us, 2018 farm bill but like you stated very testimony there is a lot of work left to be done the 2007 study from the biodiversity study shows 95 percent of firestarter within one
half-mile of a road so it seems very logical to me we should prioritize to establish effective fuel breaks alongside the roads especially during the urban interface. do you agree that creating healthy forest to help lessen the wildfire risk to protect the at risk communities quack. >> and with those fuel breaks the most strategic break because of the landform is also where the starts could be our along the roads we have entered into an agreement with the california department of transportation to work together on that. >> 95 percent is a very
alarming statistic. would you work with me to create a new statutory authority to expedite much-needed treatment near roads quack. >> we would be glad to work with you to get more strategic work done on the ground. that is a good way to do that. >> thank you chief. i have the gavel now. i just have to get the right script. we will be keeping the record open for one week for questions that need to be placed on the record and that will conclude this hearing. [inaudible conversations]
the/thepresidents -- c-span.org the/thepresidents. >> earlier today president trump was asked by a reporter whether the u.s. was going to war with iran, and he responded by saying, i hope not. on the senate floor, several senators gave their thoughts on the state o several senators gave their thoughts on the state of us relations with iran. >> mister president years before president trump came to the white house even before