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