Congressman Greg Walden

Representing the 2nd District of Oregon

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

September 17, 2018 In The News

Oregon Rep. Greg Walden used some interesting props to showcase the severity of smoke from wildfires in Southern Oregon during a hearing by his House committee on Thursday.

He held up an air filter from a C-PAP machine, which he said was dropped off by an Eagle Point resident, that had been fouled in two days by smoke. The machines help sufferers of sleep apnea breathe at night.

"He had to replace it after two days — it is supposed to last two weeks," Walden said.

September 13, 2018 Press Release

Greg Walden calls for active forest management to reduce catastrophic wildfires

Holds hearing to examine health impacts of wildfire smoke and discuss needed changes to federal forest policy

September 11, 2018 Press Release

Greg Walden to examine air quality, health impacts of wildfire smoke

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Representative Greg Walden (R-Hood River), Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, announced a hearing for this Thursday, September 13, 2018 at 10:00am PT. The hearing will be held before the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on the Environment, and is entitled, “Air Quality Impacts of Wildfires: Mitigation and Management Strategies.”

September 6, 2018 Press Release

Greg Walden secures relief for Oregon farmers and ranchers impacted by wildfires

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Representative Greg Walden (R-Hood River) has secured relief for Oregon farmers and ranchers who suffered severe losses after wildfires in Wasco and Sherman counties. In a letter to Representative Walden today, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said the agency was authorizing Walden’s request to grant emergency grazing to local ranchers and flexibility for wheat producers whose crop was impacted by the wildfires.

August 28, 2018 In The News

U.S. Rep. Greg Walden and local politicians heard the latest from fire managers Friday afternoon at the Klondike Fire camp pitched at Lake Selmac.

The lawmakers are concerned about the smoke, the size of the fires, and the worsening fire seasons in recent years.

Walden didn't publicly talk about his forest policy bills at fire camp, but afterward, before driving off to a flight from Medford to Bend, he said that he'll continue to fight for policies that thin the forests.

August 20, 2018 Press Release

Guest Opinion: "Fix broken policies to help restore forests"

By Representative Greg Walden

“We are hostages in our own homes.” That’s how Jennifer, a mother from Medford, described to me what communities in Southern Oregon and across the West are enduring yet again: a summer filled with smoke and fire.

August 2, 2018 Press Release

Greg Walden announces hearing to examine air quality impacts of wildfire smoke

Hearing comes following meeting with local business owners and community leaders in southern Oregon today

July 31, 2018 Press Release

Greg Walden calls for forest management reforms in Farm Bill

Urges sweeping improvements to federal forest policy that were passed in the House to be included in final legislation

July 11, 2018 Press Release

House passes Walden bill to protect Crooked River Ranch

Crooked River Ranch Fire Protection Act aims to reduce risk of wildfire for local community

May 7, 2018 Press Release

Greg Walden applauds $14 million in Secure Rural Schools payments for Oregon

  Program provides important resources for county services in rural Oregon