LaMalfa Applauds Administration’s Request for Forestry Management Reforms
(Washington, DC) – Congressman Doug LaMalfa (R-Richvale) issued the following statement after the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) announced a request to Congress of $576.5 million in wildfire suppression funding, as well as recommending increased forest management and reforms. This comes after Rep. LaMalfa and many of his House colleagues sent a letter to the OMB, requesting comprehensive forest management and wildland fire budgeting reforms.
LaMalfa said: “The catastrophic wildfires that have been ravaging our public lands are a fixable problem with a very clear cause – mismanagement has left our forests highly susceptible for these fires to spread at a record rate. Fire prevention, such as thinning dead trees and removing hazardous fuel, has taken a backseat while we spend billions to suppress fires only after they’ve gotten out of hand. These wildfires are every bit the natural disasters that hurricanes are, yet they receive only a fraction of the funding. They destroy property, hurt rural economies, and are a constant danger to human life, wildlife, and their habitat – but it can all be mitigated with better forest management practices. I and many others have fought for these reforms for a long time. I’m glad to see the Administration is listening to the concerns of those who are affected by these fires and has shown a willingness to work with Congress to fix it.”
So far in 2017, there have been 49,864 fires that have burned 8,426,099 acres nationwide, including 182,917 acres in California’s 1st District, Another 60-80 million acres throughout the country are currently considered high risk. The Forest Service has already broken a record by spending more than $2.3 billion on suppression costs this fiscal year. According the House Committee on Natural Resources, wildfires destroyed 4,312 structures, including 3,192 residences in 2016.
Congressman Doug LaMalfa is a lifelong farmer representing California’s First Congressional District, including Butte, Glenn, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou and Tehama Counties.