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 – Rep. LaMalfa today released the following statement regarding his vote against the $1.1 trillion spending package to fund the government through September 2016.
“We knew going in that Speaker Ryan was working to make the best of the bad hand he was dealt when he was chosen to lead the House. However, I could not support the final product of negotiations.
Washington, DC – Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-CA) announced that he will be hosting a Congressional Fire Forum at two separate locations on Wednesday April 8th, 2015. The Congressman and his staff will be on hand to hear how residents were impacted by Siskiyou County fires and discuss forest management reforms to reduce the threat of fires.
Washington, DC – Representative Doug LaMalfa (R-Richvale) today announced that he has sponsored a bill to alter the position titles of federal firefighting personnel from “forestry technicians” to “wildland firefighters.” H.R. 5677 requires the Office of Personnel Management to alter the designations of firefighting personnel at the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management, a change that will improve morale and retention among federal firefighters.