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 Washington, D.C. – The President signed into law today the Healthy Forest Restoration Act.

The bill cuts some of the red tape for hazardous fuel reduction to protect forests near populated areas and municipal water supply systems. It also increases management in areas where specific environmental conditions, including "blowdown" or disease, pose a significant threat to ecosystems, forests, rangeland resources and endangered species habitat.

U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., supported the legislation and worked for nearly two years on its development and passage. The Senate passed the bill by voice vote on Nov. 21. The House passed the bill May 20.

Enzi's comments follow.

"So far, we've been lucky in Wyoming. Some of our most at risk areas haven't caught fire even though an accumulation of vegetation in our forests has turned some of them into deadly time bombs.

"The President's actions today will help change that.

"This law will help make our forests safer and more fire resilient and will reduce the threat of destructive wildfires to our communities and wildlife habitats.

"I am very pleased with the signing of this bill. It is an important step in addressing the health of our nation's forests today so that generations to come will be able to enjoy them tomorrow."

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