WASHINGTON, D.C. – Continuing his efforts to improve the way our federal forests are managed, Rep. Greg Walden (R-Hood River) led several calls to action recently on the need to pass forest management reform. Walden, joined by his colleagues on the Congressional Western Caucus, stressed the need for Congress to fix broken federal forest policy that leads to catastrophic fires in Oregon and much of the West.
“As we saw painfully this summer, smoke chokes our citizens, it chokes children. In my district, elementary school children had to be sent home because of smoke in their schools because of forest fires,” said Walden in a speech on the House floor. “In Oregon, we’ve seen some of the worst fires in our state’s history. It seemed as if every day came with new reports of more fire and more smoke. While this year’s fire season has been particularly intense and devastating, images like these are nothing new for Oregonians.” Walden continued, standing beside a constituent photo of the Eagle Creek fire burning between Cascade Locks and Hood River.
Walden also led a hearing before the Energy and Commerce Committee — where he serves as chairman — to examine the air quality impacts of wildfire, held a press conference with Congressional leaders on the need to pass the Resilient Federal Forests Act, and gave the Western Caucus Weekly Address where he discussed the horrific wildfire season that burned over 678,000 acres in Oregon.