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Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., called the Senate's passage today of the Healthy Forest Restoration Act a victory for Wyoming and the West.

"This is a great victory for our forests and the people who live and work around them. I have watched as the fire threat in Wyoming and other parts of the West has grown to the point where we knew something terrible was going happen. This year it did. In one fire in California 22 people lost their lives and more than 3,570 homes and buildings were destroyed. Hopefully this bill will help us do something to prevent that from happening in Wyoming," said Enzi. "We have the conditions, with beetle-killed trees and unnaturally dry years, that could combine with our state's strong winds to burn up thousands of acres of primary habitat. I would hate to see that happen, especially without us having done all we could to prevent it and make things better."

The conference report 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.

The House also passed the conference report today. The bill will next go to the President to be signed into law.