Speaks with administration officials about additional tools to prevent catastrophic wildfires, need to fight fires sooner
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Rep. Greg Walden (R-Hood River) today met with Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, and Acting Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen to discuss improving forest management to prevent catastrophic wildfires in Oregon. Walden also stressed the need to increase the speed of wildfire fighting to prevent them from spreading uncontrollably.
“Last year, catastrophic wildfires charred over 710,000 acres in Oregon and overwhelmed our communities with harmful smoke. Today I emphasized the need to fight forest fires quicker, before they get away,” said Walden. “Secretaries Perdue and Zinke concurred with the need to better involve local firefighters and residents to more aggressively fight these fires. I appreciate the Trump administration’s urgency in implementing the new forest management tools that I worked to include and voted for in the recent funding package. Today’s discussion made clear this administration will work with our communities and make it a priority to prevent wildfires. In the unfortunate event of a wildfire, they are committed to cleaning up the damage while the trees still have value, and replanting and restoring our forests. I look forward to continuing to work with the administration and my colleagues in Congress to achieve these goals, create jobs and make a positive difference for the health of our forests and safety of our citizens.”
Today’s meeting comes as the Forest Service predicts another intense wildfire season ahead for Oregon and much of the West this year. Last summer alone, wildfires burned over 710,000 acres of land in Oregon.
Walden secured additional reforms to forest management in the government funding measure that was signed into law in March, including new tools to address wildfire resilience and hazardous fuels reductions and a 10-year fix to fire borrowing. The administration officials who joined today’s meeting told Walden these additional reforms will make a positive difference for the health of Oregon’s forests and safety of our communities.
To learn more about the reforms to federal forest policy Walden passed into law recently, please click here.
Contact Greg Walden’s Offices:
Washington, DC Office
2185 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-6730
1051 NW Bond St. #400
Bend, OR 97701
Phone: (541) 389-4408
La Grande Office
1211 Washington Avenue
La Grande, OR 97850
Phone: (541) 624-2400
14 N. Central Ave. #112
Medford, OR 97501
Phone: (541) 776-4646
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