Congressman Greg Walden

Representing the 2nd District of Oregon

In Case You Missed It: Greg Walden Calls for Active Forest Management in Southern Oregon Speech

April 17, 2019
Press Release

In Case You Missed It: Greg Walden Calls for Active Forest Management in Southern Oregon Speech

Representative Greg Walden gives speech entitled “Clear Skies for Southern Oregon” at Medford/Jackson County Chamber of Commerce Forum last week

Representative Greg Walden (R-Hood River) is continuing to highlight the need to improve forest management to prevent catastrophic wildfires in Oregon. Speaking before the Medford/Jackson County Chamber of Commerce Forum in Medford last week, Walden called for “Clear Skies for Southern Oregon” in a speech that outlined the changes to federal policy Walden is pushing for to protect Oregon’s communities from increasingly devastating wildfires and air choking smoke each summer.

Under Walden’s leadership, Congress passed into law the most significant reforms to forest management in more than a decade last year, including a fix to so-called fire borrowing so that federal forest management accounts are not used to pay to fight wildfires. In his remarks, Walden said that while these reforms are important, there is much more work that needs to be done.

“It is time to change how federal forests are managed and how fires on federal forest lands are extinguished,” Walden said in his speech. “We cannot and should not tolerate choking smoke and devastated forests every summer. We should not have to flee Oregon to find a place to breathe. We should not be treated as ‘smoke refugees’ in our own land.”

Walden: 'Enough is enough'

U.S. Rep. Greg Walden’s tone in a speech on wildfires and clean air to the Chamber of Jackson County/ Medford on Monday afternoon was far from dampened by the steady rain.
The congressman repeatedly pointed to forest management measures that he believes hold the keys to conquering smoky summer skies in Southern Oregon.

“Enough is enough,” he said.

Click here to read more from the Mail Tribune.

Click here or on the image above to watch coverage of Walden’s speech from KOBI TV in Medford

Click here or on the image above to view coverage of Walden’s speech from KDRV Medford

Walden concluded his speech by saying that he will continue his efforts in Congress to bring commonsense changes to forest management policy.

“Most importantly, reforming federal forest policy will help us protect our communities. Reforming federal forest policy will reduce the threat of wildfire smoke that chokes our skies, holds people hostage in their homes, drives tourism away from southern Oregon, shutters the doors of small businesses, and rips jobs away from people,” Walden said. “I am committed to doing whatever it takes to make that happen.”

Click here for a full transcript of Walden’s remarks.

Click here to learn more about Walden’s efforts to improve federal forest management.