'Too Many Trees': Forest Service Re-Ups Efforts To Find Contractors

By Lauren Gilger
Published: Thursday, August 22, 2019 - 11:43am
Updated: Thursday, August 22, 2019 - 1:47pm

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Tonto National Forest
Jimmy Jenkins/KJZZ
Tonto National Forest.

The U.S. Forest Service is offering up one of the largest Requests for Proposals in the history of the agency in an attempt to make real progress on the Four Forest Restoration Initiative. The massive project seeks to thin and restore 1 million acres of national forest lands in Arizona so they can be less susceptible to the kinds of catastrophic wildfires seen so often today. 

The project, however, hasn’t gotten very far.

Both of Arizona’s senators, Kyrsten Sinema and Martha McSally, have criticized the Forest Service’s progress on the far-reaching initiative in recent months. In the first phase of the project, Sinema said the Forest Services issued an RFP for thinning on 300,000 acres of Arizona forests but only about 12,000 acres have actually been thinned.

Now, officials are hoping the new RFP will spark a refresh in the market. Tom Torres is the RFP project manager for 4FRI and a deputy forest supervisor with the Tonto National Forest. He joined The Show to talk about the effort.

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