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Colorado U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet on Thursday issued the following press release on media coverage of his recently introduced Outdoor Restoration Partnership Act:
This week, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet introduced the Outdoor Restoration Partnership Act to create or sustain over two million jobs in the outdoors by investing in forest and watershed restoration. Bennet first introduced this legislation in December, and President Joe Biden included a commitment to invest in restoration and resilience in his American Jobs Plan, highlighting Bennet’s legislation as a model.
Here’s what they’re saying about Bennet’s Outdoor Restoration Partnership Act:
U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet and three other congressional lawmakers introduced bipartisan legislation this week that would invest billions of dollars in wildfire prevention and wildlife restoration.
The legislation, titled the Outdoor Restoration Partnership Act, proposes to invest $60 billion in local efforts to prevent wildfires and restore local forests and watersheds while creating more than 2 million jobs.
If passed, the Outdoor Restoration Partnership Act would establish an Outdoor Restoration Fund that would support local cleanup and restoration efforts. By supporting and encouraging such local efforts, the legislation aims to create jobs in primarily rural areas in industries such as agriculture and outdoor recreation.
Sen. Michael Bennet has focused on efforts to fight wildfires for a decade in Colorado, and over the years he has learned that effective preparation occurs at the local level.
Bennet has also learned that there is bipartisan support to be found in those efforts.
Bennet and Simpson, along with Rep. Jason Crow, a Democrat who represents Colorado’s 6th Congressional District, are now hoping to find more bipartisan support in introducing a $60 billion effort they’re calling the Outdoor Restoration Partnership Act.
The act was included in President Joe Biden’s American Jobs Plan infrastructure package, touted as an effort to “create and sustain millions of jobs and reduce wildfire risk by supporting locally-led forest health and watershed restoration projects.”
Bennet said the inclusion of the jobs plan into the Outdoor Restoration Partnership Act could help the jobs plan garner more support.
And most importantly, Bennet said, the act will fund localized efforts to get communities prepared for wildfire.
More than 10.2 million acres of the United States burned last year from wildfires, killing 46 people and causing $16.6 billion in damages. Senator Michael Bennet said the country needs to be more proactive with fire prevention by putting people to work maintaining forests.
On Tuesday, the Colorado Democrat will introduce legislation focused on restoring and maintaining forests, watersheds and rangelands across the West to protect those areas from the threats of climate change, and in turn create jobs.
Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and other lawmakers proposed legislation today to provide $60 billion for projects to reduce the threat of wildfire, which may end up in a larger infrastructure plan in Congress.
Bennet and others, including Reps. Jason Crow (D-Colo.) and Mike Simpson (R-Idaho), reintroduced the “Outdoor Restoration Partnership Act,” which would fund projects in cooperation with state and local governments through a new grant program.
Infrastructure is more than roads and bridges, the legislation’s sponsors told reporters in a conference call. It’s forests and other natural settings too, they said, as well as protecting watersheds, easing the impact of climate change and providing recreation — but also posing threats to wildfire if poorly managed.