Western Governors have urged Congressional leadership to fix the present approach to budgeting for wildfire costs at the Departments of the Interior and Agriculture.
As western states cope with yet another wildfire season, Governors are concerned that resources continue to be redirected from the very efforts that could prevent and reduce wildfire impacts, costs, and safety risks to firefighters and the public. This year, the U.S. Forest Service has spent more than $2 billion fighting fires, a record for the agency.
The letter was sent on September 22, 2017, to Representatives Paul Ryan and Nancy Pelosi and Senators Mitch McConnell and Charles Schumer. It noted the Governors’ summarized views in WGA’s Policy Resolution 2017-10, National Forest and Rangeland Management, and the Special Report of the National Forest and Rangeland Management Initiative. The report highlighted mechanisms to bring states, federal land managers, private landowners and other stakeholders together to discuss issues and opportunities in forest and rangeland management. Read, download the Letter.