Department Of Interior

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Office of the Secretary
Contact: Mark Pfeifle or John Wright
For Immediate Release:October 30, 2003


Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman and Interior Secretary Gale Norton
Regarding the Senate Passage of the
Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003
October 30, 2003

"We are pleased that the Senate acted on the Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003. We commend Chairman Cochran and members of the Agriculture Committee, Majority Leader Frist, Senators Wyden and Feinstein and members of the Senate for reaching a bipartisan agreement.

"The legislation is needed to help the land management agencies decrease the wildland fire risk to communities by implementing hazardous fuel reduction projects on federal land through a collaborative process. It also supports the President's Healthy Forests Initiative--launched more than a year ago--to address the growing decline in forest and rangeland health caused by the unnatural buildup of hazardous fuels and increasing disease and insect infestations.

"We urge Congress to act quickly and we look forward to working with Congress to secure final action."


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