Barrasso Introduces Bill to Fight USFS Housing Crisis, Support Wyoming’s Federal Workforce in Gateway Communities

June 5, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources (ENR), issued the following statement after introducing S. 4456, a bill to improve U.S. Forest Service (USFS) housing availability in gateway communities.

“The U.S. Forest Service is facing a housing crisis. The lack of adequate and available housing options is limiting the agency’s ability to recruit and retain a quality workforce capable of managing our national forests. My bill will help the Forest Service address this crisis, especially in areas with high cost of living including the Bridger-Teton National Forest in my home state of Wyoming,” said Senator Barrasso.

A number of factors have made it prohibitively expensive for USFS employees to find housing in gateway communities outside our national forests. This would authorize the USFS to issue special use permits for up to 100 years exclusively for the purposes of housing. By increasing the term length, the Forest Service can make long-term financing and partnership decisions with certainty.

Click here to read the bill text.