U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) welcomed an announcement made by the Departments of the Interior, Agriculture, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that they are now accepting applications for members to the Wildland Fire Mitigation and Management Commission, which Romney negotiated and secured in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Modeled after Romney’s Wildland Fire Mitigation and Management Commission Act, the wildland fire commission is tasked with forming federal policy recommendations and strategies on ways to better prevent, manage, suppress and recover from wildfires.
“I am proud to have helped negotiate the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which will better position Utah and our country to meet the infrastructure-related challenges of the 21st century,” said Senator Romney. “As the American West continues to get drier and fires become more destructive, it makes less and less sense to continue to adhere to the fire policies of the past. That is why I worked to make sure legislation to create a commission which would improve strategies to prevent future wildfires from becoming catastrophic disasters in Utah and across the West was included in the bipartisan infrastructure bill. I look forward to seeing the wildland fire commission start its efforts by bringing together some of our nation’s top experts, including state and local stakeholders.”
Negotiated by Senator Romney and his colleagues, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is a once-in-a-generation investment which will address decades of neglect of our nation’s hard, physical infrastructure. In addition to establishing the commission, the legislation provides historic funding to address wildfire hazards, including $8.25 billion for a suite of programs aimed at reducing wildfire risks, detecting wildfires, instituting firefighter workforce reforms, and building more resilient infrastructure. More details on how the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will deliver for Utah—including by rebuilding its roads, mitigating drought conditions, and fulfilling critical water needs can be found here.
Details on Applying for the Wildland Fire Mitigation and Management Commission:
The Wildland Fire Mitigation and Management Commission now accepting applications until midnight, Pacific Standard Time, March 25, 2022, for volunteer members from diverse backgrounds, with a specific focus on those who represent non-federal interests.
The commission will prepare policy recommendations and submit them to Congress within a year of its first meeting. Members should expect to devote between 10 and 15 hours a month for commission duties which include attending meetings, strategic planning and development of the reports. The Departments of the Interior, Agriculture, and Homeland Security (through FEMA) will provide support and resources to assist members with coordination and facilitation of their duties through the duration of the commission.
Members will serve for the life of the commission—an estimated year and a half. The first meeting is targeted for late spring 2022.
Members will be appointed by the Secretaries of Agriculture and the Interior, and the FEMA Administrator. Preference will be given to applicants from areas of high wildfire risk and areas with a high level of wildland-urban interface.