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. Meanwhile, our most rural communities face high levels of poverty and unemployment. It is clear the status quo isn't working for our forests or our communities, and that’s why I continue to push for reforms in the House
Improving the management of our federal forests
I helped write legislation to fix and streamline management to improve the health of our forests and our communities. For example, the House has passed a plan l to repeal the arbitrary prohibition on harvesting trees over 21 inches in diameter on national forests in eastern Oregon. The restriction denies forest managers the flexibility to address site specific needs of the forest on the ground, and is a source of litigation that continues to stall much needed forest management efforts.
Putting people back to work in the woods
I’ve supported a plan that would cut costs and streamline management on Oregon’s unique O&C Lands. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recently unveiled new management plans for these lands that would fall short of the needs of local communities for a reliable supply of timber to fund essential local services like schools, roads, and law enforcement. The bill tells the BLM to go back to the drawing board, and analyze a new plan to provide sustainable timber production for Oregon’s rural communities as required by law.
Ending the cycle of “fire borrowing”
We must fix the way we pay to fight fire, and stop the endless cycle of “fire borrowing”— or forcing the federal government to use wildfire prevention funds to pay for fighting fire. I supported a bipartisan plan that would allow the Forest Service to apply for FEMA disaster funds to pay for firefighting. This treats wildfire as the natural disasters they are, similar to hurricanes or tornados, and ensures the cost-effective preventive forest management work gets done.
More on Reforming Federal Forest Policy
For the fifth time in as many years, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill Wednesday that would expedite certain forest thinning projects to lower the risk of destructive wildfires across the country.
Greg Walden applauds passage of Resilient Federal Forests Act
Helps advance forest management reform through House for fifth year in a row
In Case You Missed It: Walden leads call to action on forest management reform
October 4, 2017
The Honorable Mick Mulvaney
The Office of Management & Budget
725 17th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20503
Dear Director Mulvaney:
Greg Walden applauds wildfire funding request, call for forest management reform from administration
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Greg Walden (R-Hood River) today applauded additional wildfire funds and a call to action on forest management reform from the administration. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) today included $576.5 million in wildfire funding in their supplemental budget request to Congress, as well as recommendations that active forest management and forestry reform be part of the solution to curb wildfire borrowing.
The Dalles Chronicle: Walden: We must act to prevent wildfires
Oregonians have faced some of the worst fires in our state’s history this year. We have watched in shock as every day comes with more smoke and reports of new fires. With arrival of the first fall rains, we can and should turn our attention to the recovery efforts after the fires.