The health and productivity of national forests have never been at a more critical juncture – 129 million dead and dying trees statewide from drought and insect and disease epidemics.
As a result of decades of aggressive fire suppression and hands-off management practices, our forests have become overgrown and mismanaged to the point of becoming virtual tinderboxes. In many cases, these catastrophic fires cannot be controlled, threatening entire communities and leaving charred forests that may not recover for a century or more. These are not the natural fires that have historically cleaned up the forest floors. Fires of the size, magnitude and intensity that we have seen with increasing frequency in recent years are, very simply, an incredibly serious threat to public health and safety.
This is why we must commit to common sense policies that allow local forest professionals, who know and understand the land, more flexibility to access our forests and thin them in a way that reduces fuels and restores them to a more fire resilient and healthier condition. Most recently, I was happy to see my bill, the Electricity Reliability and Forest Protection Act, signed into law. This legislation removes red tape so utility providers can remove hazardous vegetation near power lines before it can cause a wildfire.
In Congress, I will continue fighting for balanced, common sense forestry reforms that help prevent fires before they occur and start recovering our national forests.
For more information concerning my work and views related to Forestry, please contact me.
More on Forestry
(Washington, DC) – Congressman Doug LaMalfa issued the following statement after joining colleagues from the House Natural Resources Committee and the Congressional Western Caucus for a Forum on Preventing Catastrophic Wildfires and Restoring Forest Health and Resiliency. Additionally, he joined House Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Bruce Westerman in introducing the Resilient Federal Forests Act.
(Washington, DC) – Congressman Doug LaMalfa issued the following statement after joining with Rep. Rosendale and others to introduce the Forest Litigation Reform Act. This legislation would prevent litigation from impeding responsible forest management practices needed to conserve our forests and mitigate wildfire risk by streamlining the litigation process and creating an alternative dispute process to resolve claims against forestry management projects to be resolved through arbitration.
Washington, DC) – Congressman Doug LaMalfa issued the following statement after the Biden Administration released information on their plan to address wildfires. Over 68 million acres burned in the last decade and over 10 million acres burned in 2020 alone.
Congressman Doug LaMalfa (R-Richvale), a member of the Bipartisan Wildfire Caucus, issued the following statement after California Governor Gavin Newsom signed legislation aimed at preventing wildfires.