WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Representative Greg Walden (R-Hood River) released the following statement applauding the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service for taking steps to improve the planning process for forest management projects ahead of the 2019 fire season:

“Fire season is upon us and is a reminder of how much work remains to reduce the threat of fire in our forests. I applaud the Forest Service for building on the tools that passed into law last year and taking steps to further reform broken federal forest policy. Refreshing the Forest Service’s approach to developing projects will help protect our communities. Currently, upwards of 70 percent of forest project costs go into planning. Streamlining that process will extend resources to get more work done in the woods and reduce the threat of wildfire and smoke to our communities. The Nature Conservancy and U.S. Forest Service found that active forest management can reduce the size and intensity of wildfires by 70 percent. It is time to follow the science and update policies to speed up forest management, and the Forest Service is taking important steps towards getting that done.”

In an effort to help improve forest management policies in Oregon, Walden recently introduced the Resilient Federal Forests Act. His bill builds and expands on proven forest policies to further streamline forest management project planning across all of Oregon. This legislation empowers forest managers at the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to efficiently implement science-based forest management projects and reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire. 

For more information on the Resilient Federal Forest Act, please click here.

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