Provo, UT – Today, Representative John Curtis (R-UT), Deputy Republican Leader of the National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands Subcommittee, released the following statement after hosting US Department of Agriculture Natural Resources and Environment Under Secretary James Hubbard and announcing funding to help communities recover and protect life and property following the Pole Canyon and Bald Mountain fires in Utah County.  

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“I was pleased to be the first to deliver the news to the mayors and county officials at the Wildfire and Watershed Roundtable that Utah County will be receiving over $9.6 million in disaster relief funding to help those communities affected by last year’s fires recover.

All levels of government must work together to have a meaningful impact on wildfire prevention and mitigation. The partnership between local, state, and federal leaders is vital to the safety of Americans, as well as the health of our public lands. I am committed to working with the United States Department of Agriculture and Utah’s local leaders to prepare for wildfires, and quickly fix damage done by past disasters.”

Natural Resources Conservation Services Funding

The Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act of 2019 will provide $9,654,822 in the Emergency Watershed Protection Program (EWPP). The main work done under this program will be temporary measures like debris removal, stream bank protection, and other practices that will provide immediate relief and protection in high-risk areas.

USDA Under Secretary Visit

Last month, Rep. Curtis wrote to the US Department of Agriculture Natural Resources and Environment Under Secretary James Hubbard, requesting a visit to Utah (see here).

Tuesday morning the group took a forest tour along Mona Pole Road and listened to a presentation by the Forest Service and discussed on-the-ground restoration projects, Utah’s shared stewardship agreement, and how we’re expediting efforts to improve the health of our forests and watersheds.
Following the tour, Rep. Curtis hosted a roundtable discussion  with local leaders to talk about watershed protection, wildfire preparedness, prevention, mitigation and cleanup, and the effect on recreation, grazing, and local communities.