Governor Matt Mead continues to work to protect Wyoming's forests. In a letter to the Secretary of Agriculture, Governor Mead identified most forested acres in Wyoming as areas needing expedited insect and disease treatment. These areas include portions of the Bighorn, Black Hills, Bridger-Teton, Medicine Bow, Shoshone, and Uinta National Forests and could potentially lead to increased funding to treat the problem.
This identification will also help Wyoming and the Forest Service prioritize other resources. It may speed up project planning efforts and implementation. Wyoming has provided support for projects in many of these areas.
"Protecting our forests from bark beetles and reducing fuel for wildfires is a critical part of maintaining the health, ensuring the economic vitality, and preserving the cultural heritage of our forests," Governor Mead said. "This is an opportunity to build on our current efforts."
Governor Mead requested the Governor's Office be included in U.S. Forest Service meetings on the Shoshone National Forest Land Management Plan Revision. These meetings will address objections related to livestock grazing, surface occupancy restrictions, timber production, recreation and wilderness designations.
"I appreciate the cooperation of the U.S. Forest Service with state and local governments in developing and revising a balanced management plan for this national forest. We will continue to be involved in resolving these differences," Governor Mead said.
The Forest Task Force, which was created by Governor Mead last year to work in conjunction with federal and private partners, is developing strategies, recommendations and measurable actions to improve all forested lands in Wyoming, not just federal lands. The Task Force will present their recommendations to Governor Mead later this fall addressing: fire and other disturbances; resource management; and economic opportunities and innovation.