Bennet Tours Galena Fire Burn Area, Discusses Forest Health With Local Leaders

Bennet Drafting Bill to Reduce Effects of Wildfires

Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet toured the burn area of the Galena Fire today at Lory State Park, which has been closed since the fire broke out on March 15.

During the tour, Bennet heard from local experts about forest health and wildfire mitigation efforts in the area. He also discussed his upcoming bill, slated to be introduced into the Senate in the coming weeks, aimed at treating insect epidemics and promoting overall forest health.

“Coloradoans are all too familiar with the devastating effects wildfires pose,” Bennet said. “Last year’s wildfires destroyed thousands of acres of forest land, hundreds of homes, and tragically took the lives of several Coloradoans. As we approach yet another wildfire season, we need to make sure we’re doing everything we can to prevent wildfires from happening in the first place, and if they do happen, mitigating their effects.”

During the tour, officials showed Bennet the damages to the state park from the Galena Fire and explained recovery projects underway. They also pointed out mitigation projects that had been completed in the park through the federal Emergency Watershed Protection program. Forest experts explained how Colorado’s “Good Neighbor Authority” policy improves collaboration between state and federal forest service workers. Currently, this policy is only in effect in Utah and Colorado, but Bennet’s upcoming bill would extend this common-sense measure nationally. The bill would also reauthorize the policy, because it is currently set to expire in September.