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CDA forester to speak before Congressional Committee

| May 26, 2021 1:00 AM

COEUR d'ALENE — Idaho State Forester Craig Foss of Coeur d'Alene spoke on the relationship between drought, wildfires and forest health before a House Committee on Natural Resources subcommittee on Tuesday in Washington, D.C. Idaho Rep. Russ Fulcher invited Foss to speak before the Western Drought Forum titled, “The status of drought conditions throughout the western United States.”

Idaho’s national forests comprise 80% of the state’s total forestland. Of federal forestland suitable for management, more than 8 million acres are in declining condition, leaving them at high risk of insect and disease and wildfire mortality, according to a press release.

“Managed forests are healthy forests, better able to withstand wildfire, pests, and drought, and more capable of storing carbon, providing clean air, water, wildlife habitat, economic and recreational opportunities and countless other benefits,” Foss said. “Forests, water and people are dependent on one another.”

As state forester with the Idaho Department of Lands, Foss oversees the forestry and fire programs for the state of Idaho.

Foss says it will take years to address the extensive work needed to restore forested watersheds in Idaho and throughout the west.

“It will require increased funding for climate change research, active forest management, wildfire mitigation, increased use of prescribed fire and reforestation,” Foss said.

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