August 05, 2021

Neguse-Led Proposal to Restore Forests Included in Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill

Washington, DC—Today, Congressman Joe Neguse announced that his proposal to formally authorize the Joint Chiefs Landscape Restoration Partnership program has been included in the bipartisan Senate infrastructure package. The proposal which would formally authorize a vital U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) program, was added to the infrastructure package via an amendment offered by Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO). Neguse introduced the bill alongside Representative Armstrong (R-ND) and Representative Spanberger (D-VA) in May.

The USDA Joint Chiefs Landscape Restoration Partnership Initiative (Joint Chiefs) that is authorized by this measure has a proven track record of supporting forest and grassland restoration projects across public and private land. Bennet’s amendment to include this bill in the infrastructure package passed the Senate by a voice vote on Wednesday. 

“I am grateful to Senator Bennet for successfully incorporating this important bill into the infrastructure package being considered by the Senate,” said Congressman Joe Neguse. “The effects of climate change and extreme weather events do not stop at boundaries between public and private land, so our approach to conservation must also be landscape-scale. The Joint Chiefs Landscape Restoration Partnership Initiative’s efforts will play a vital role in delivering better future outcomes for our vulnerable communities, and this legislation will provide crucial funding as well as increased oversight and accountability.”

The Joint Chiefs initiative has supported more than 93 projects, including two in Colorado, and treated 300,000 acres of hazardous fuels, restored 29,000 acres in priority watersheds, and enhanced 200,000 acres of wildlife habitat. 

Colorado has received over $3 million through two Joint Chiefs projects: the Northern Front Range Collaboration Watershed Resilience Project and the San Juan Project. The Northern Front project helped slow the advance of the devastating 2020 Cameron Peak Fire.

The bill text is available HERE. A one-page summary is available HERE. A section-by-section is available HERE.