Western Governors have urged timely action by Congress to end the practice of “fire borrowing” used by the U.S. Forest Service and the Department of the Interior to fund wildfire suppression activities.
"We strongly urge Congress to resolve this enduring issue as among its highest priorities when it returns to complete the business of the 114th Congress," the Governors stated in a letter sent Nov. 15, 2016, to Representatives Paul Ryan and Nancy Pelosi and Senators Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid.
Fire borrowing is a budgetary practice that occurs when federal agencies divert funds from forest health and fire prevention programs to fight wildfires.
The Governors go on to highlight how the current funding situation has allowed wildfires to burn through crippling amounts of the very funds that should instead be used to prevent fires. The result is "an unacceptable set of outcomes for taxpayers and at-risk communities."
The outreach also references the Governors' policy resolution, National Forest and Rangeland Management, and the current WGA Chairman’s Initiative, the Western Governors' National Forest and Rangeland Management Initiative.