FUNDING FEDERAL WILDLAND FIREFIGHTING
(retired by Resolution No. 2005-2)
WHEREAS: Protection of the nation's natural resources from wildfire must be a national priority; and
WHEREAS: The past several fire seasons have been especially severe and have demonstrated that present funding mechanisms are inadequate; and
WHEREAS: Federal legislation was proposed in 1988-1989 that would direct federal land management receipts from states and counties to a new emergency firefighting fund; and
WHEREAS: The legislation did not pass, and the funding problem remains unresolved; and
WHEREAS: Past practice has been to borrow from existing funds (KV) for emergency fire suppression and current fund balances have been depleted to the point they can no longer address intended long-term reforestation and other needs; and
WHEREAS: Replenishment through supplemental appropriations is not always politically desirable and it conflicts with deficit reduction objectives; and
WHEREAS: A long-term funding solution must be found for this continuing problem;
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the National Association of State Foresters supports the need for adequate, but not unlimited, funding for federal emergency wildland fire suppression and believes that each federal agency should be fiscally responsible for fires that occur on lands for which they are responsible.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the National Association of State Foresters recommends that Congress establish a new dedicated fire emergency fund from revenues and user fees (timber, grazing, recreation, mines, etc.) remaining after distribution of current state and county shares.