On Feb. 4, 2013 at 2 p.m., the House Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment Committee is scheduled to give HB77 a public hearing in Room C445 on the fourth floor of the capitol building. The public hearing is open to anyone wanting to express his or her opinion on the bill.
Environmental and activist groups including iMatter Utah and Utah Interfaith Power and Light are calling for people to go to the hearing to show the legislators the support that the bill has in the public.
HB77 gives the Division of Forestry, Fire, and State Lands the directive to create preventative fire plans to combat wildfires that may occur because of climate change that is directly or indirectly caused by human activity.
Taking action to prevent wildfires will help to prevent the damage that Utah has seen in the past years. In 2012, Utah paid $16 million to fight about 1,450 wildfires. Prevention in the bill includes education and outreach activities.
Proposed by Utah State Representative Republican Kraig Powell, HB77 is the first bill to recognize the science of climate change in Utah State government. It passed unanimously out of the Rules Committee.