Reforming Federal Forest Policy

Each summer, our forested communities face catastrophic fires that burn through overstocked forests, choke our skies with smoke, destroy watersheds, and threaten property and lives. It is clear the status quo isn’t working for our forests or our communities, and that’s why I continue to support reforms.

I worked hard with my colleagues to pass into law the most significant reforms to forest policy in over 15 years. We provide additional tools to more rapidly thin our forests to reduce the risk of wildfire. Rather than forcing the Forest Service to rob from fire prevention funds for firefighting, we instead pay for wildfires as we do other natural disasters. This will help ensure we get more of the needed thinning and prevention work done.  

These reforms are an important step towards better management of our forests, but much more work remains.

More on Reforming Federal Forest Policy

July 10, 2020 Press Release
Representative Greg Walden released a statement after the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) announced a new rule to update the agency’s special-use regulations to improve the reliability of the electrical grid and reduce the threat of wildfires.
June 30, 2020 Press Release
Representative Greg Walden (R-Hood River) released a statement after the Department of Interior (DOI) awarded $23,321,995 to Oregon under the 2020 Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program to support essential services in rural Oregon.
May 28, 2020 Press Release
Today, Representative Greg Walden (R-Hood River) released a statement after the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced proposals to improve efficiency in forest management projects and expedite efforts to clean up after wildfires.
May 28, 2020 Press Release

Yesterday, Reps. Greg Walden (OR-02), Peter DeFazio (OR-04), Earl Blumenauer (OR-03) and Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01) requested U.S. Forest Service (USFS) Chief Vicki Christiansen provide details on the agency’s efforts to prepare for the 2020 wildfire season amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

April 17, 2020 Press Release
Greg Walden (R-Hood River) released a statement after the Department of Interior (DOI) announced $28.4 million in payments to rural schools in Oregon.
April 2, 2020 Press Release
Representative Greg Walden (R-Hood River) released the following statement after the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced the decision to reduce wildfire risks around roads and utility lines in eastern Oregon.
March 10, 2020 Press Release
Representative Greg Walden (R-OR) joined GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-AR), and other Members of Congress at a press conference on The Trillion Trees Act.
January 28, 2020 Press Release
Today, Representative Greg Walden (R-Hood River) spoke at a House Energy and Commerce joint subcommittee hearing entitled “Out of Control: The Impact of Wildfires on Our Power Sector and Environment.”
September 16, 2019 Press Release
U.S. Representative Greg Walden (R-Hood River) and U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) today pressed the Forest Service to explain why it has failed to award any ”call when needed” (CWN) contracts to providers of wildfire-fighting large air tankers (LAT).
August 12, 2019 Press Release

Walden discusses the impact of smoke with EPA Region 10 administrator, local leaders, and concerned citizens at a roundtable in Medford last year.