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. 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

November 2, 2017 In The News

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.

November 2, 2017 Press Release

Greg Walden applauds passage of Resilient Federal Forests Act

Helps advance forest management reform through House for fifth year in a row

October 11, 2017 Press Release

In Case You Missed It: Walden leads call to action on forest management reform

October 4, 2017 Press Release

October 4, 2017

 

The Honorable Mick Mulvaney

Director

The Office of Management & Budget

725 17th Street, NW

Washington, DC 20503

 

Dear Director Mulvaney:

October 4, 2017 Press Release

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.

October 4, 2017 Press Release

Greg Walden leads hearing on air quality, health impacts of wildfires in Oregon

Shares constituent photos from Oregon of “smoke clogged skies from catastrophic fires”

September 27, 2017 Press Release

Greg Walden’s Energy and Commerce Committee to Examine the Impact Wildfires Have on Air Quality

Hearing announced as Walden continues efforts to prevent catastrophic fires and protect air quality in Oregon 

September 22, 2017 In The News

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.

September 14, 2017 Press Release

Greg Walden on forest management reform: “We have to do better for air quality, for water quality, and for the future of our precious public resources”

Stresses the need for urgent action to prevent catastrophic wildfires, protect air quality in Oregon

September 13, 2017 Press Release

Greg Walden helps pass legislation aimed at improving firefighter health 

Stresses the need to protect the men and women battling devastating fires raging across Oregon