The lead Senate negotiators said Wednesday that a final agreement on a new farm bill was "very, very close" after congressional leaders decided how to address the Trump administration's demands for new authority for addressing wildfires.
Vicki Christiansen was sworn in as the 19th chief of the United States Forest Service Thursday in Washington, where she pledged to lead a productive department that would offer a safe work environment for all.
Counties in heavily forested areas of the western United States are pleading with Congress to provide permanent funding for a program designed to partially compensate them for the sharp decline in timber sales from non-taxpaying national forests.
The Forest Service plans to use new authority it received in the omnibus spending bill to get more timber out of the nation's forests and make them less vulnerable to catastrophic wildfire, the service's acting chief has told congressional lawmakers.
Republicans expect to advance a farm bill in the House Agriculture Committee on Wednesday despite Democratic anger over its reforms to food stamps, but the legislation also would make significant changes in policy and funding across many other sections, including conservation, rural development and horticulture.