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10/6/2023 Media Advisory: Forest Management Commission to hear from DEM, fire chiefs
STATE HOUSE – The House commission working to help the state determine the best action for improving forest management will meet next week for presentations from the Department of Environmental Management and several fire chiefs.

The Special Legislative Commission to Evaluate and Provide Recommendations on Proper Forest Management for Fire Prevention is scheduled to meet Thursday, Oct. 12, at 3 p.m. in Room 135 on the first floor of the State House. The meeting will include presentations from commission member Tee Jay Boudreau, who is DEM’s deputy chief of agriculture and forest environment; commission member Chief Scott Kettelle of the Rhode Island Association of Fire Chiefs; Richmond Carolina Fire District Chief Scott Barber; Exeter #2 Volunteer Fire Company Chief Robert C. Franklin; and Exeter #1 Volunteer Fire Department Chief Scott D. Gavitt.  No public testimony will be taken at this meeting.

The meeting will be televised on Capitol Television on Cox Communications, channel 15 and 61 for high definition; on i3 Broadband (formerly Full Channel) on channel 15; and on Verizon, channel 34. It will also be live streamed at

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. Representative Cotter chairs the commission.

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

In addition to chairwoman Cotter, Chief Kettelle and Deputy Chief Boudreau, the commission includes House Minority Leader Michael W. Chippendale (R-Dist. 40, Foster, Glocester, Coventry), 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, 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:
Meredyth R. Whitty, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903
(401) 222-1923