Fire Expert Witness Testifies Re: NEPA

Watershed and fire expert witness Bob Eisele testified before the Senate Natural Resources Committee hearing this month. He described the National Environmental Policy Act as a good system but red tape causes “excessive delays.” Forest Service officials say fire suppression in 2015 could cost between $800M and $1.6B. Mr. Eisele is a Fire Behavior Analyst, SoCal Incident Managment Team 2, and previously a Watershed Manager/Fire Behavior Analyst for the County of San Diego.

In February U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell testified before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, citing five focus areas for the President’s proposed $4.9 billion Fiscal Year 2016 budget for the agency: restoring resilient landscapes, building thriving communities, managing wildland fires, promoting safety, and building diversity and inclusiveness.

This budget will enable us to more effectively reduce fire risk, manage landscapes more holistically, and increase the resiliency of the Nation’s forests and grasslands as well as the communities that border them, said Tidwell.

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