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9/8/2023 Media Advisory: Forest Management Commission to meet for first time Tuesday
STATE HOUSE – A new House commission will meet for the first time Tuesday to begin its work helping the state determine the best action for improving forest management.

The Special Legislative Commission to Evaluate and Provide Recommendations on Proper Forest Management for Fire Prevention is scheduled to meet Tuesday, Sept. 12, at 3 p.m. in Room 135 on the first floor of the State House. The meeting will include the election of leaders and a discussion of the resolution establishing the commission. No public testimony will be accepted at this meeting.

The commission was created by a resolution introduced this legislative session by Rep. Megan L. Cotter (D-Dist. 39, Exeter, Richmond, Hopkinton) shortly after the mid-April wildfire that scorched hundreds of acres at the Queen’s River Preserve in Exeter, the largest forest fire in Rhode Island since 1942.

“Considering more than half of Rhode Island is forested, we should be doing more to protect woodlands. They are a valuable resource that directly reduces carbon dioxide from our atmosphere and also plays a role in filtering pollution from our groundwater. Keeping our forests healthy and encouraging the conservation of forested land should be a high priority for Rhode Island,” said Representative Cotter.

The 12-member special legislation commission will evaluate and provide recommendations on proper forest management for fire prevention in Rhode Island.

Members of the commission include Representative Cotter, House Minority Leader Michael W. Chippendale (R-Dist. 40, Foster, Glocester, Coventry), Tee Jay Boudreau of the Department of Environmental Management, Marc R. Pappas of the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency, Armand Niquette of the Rhode Island State Association of Firefighters, Scott Millar of the Forest Conservation Commission, Kate Sayles of the Rhode Island Land Trust Council, William Fortune of the Forest Conservators Organization, Chief Scott Kettelle of the Rhode Island Association of Fire Chiefs,  former Rhode Island Chief of Forestry Catherine Sparks, Dick Went of the Rhode Island Association of Conservation Districts and John Torgan of The Nature Conservancy.

For more information, contact:
Larry Berman, Communications Director for the Office of the Speaker
State House Room 322
Providence, RI 02903
(401) 222-2466