House introduces fire funding solution bill

A broad coalition of conservation, timber, tribal, recreation, sportsmen and employer groups praised Representatives Simpson (R-ID) and Schrader (D-OR) for introducing the Wildfire Disaster Funding Act of 2014 (H.R. 3992) that would create an emergency funding process for fire response.

This bill ensures funding for both wildfire first responders and for land managers who care for public forests and streams.  It is the House companion of the Senate bill, S. 1875, which was introduced at the end of 2013 by Senators Wyden (D-OR) and Crapo (R-ID) and continues to gain bipartisan co-sponsorship.

“The practice of transferring funds from non-fire programs has undermined the agencies’ ability to help sustainably manage the nation’s forests,” said Chris Maisch, Alaska State Forester and President of the National Association of State Foresters. “State foresters believe this new approach is needed to enable the USFS and DOI to deliver on their missions and implement needed forest management activities on all of America’s forests, both public and private. Our forests deliver many essential benefits to society such as wood products, jobs, clean air and water, and wildlife habitat; but these benefits are at risk if we don’t take action to stop the destructive cycle of fire transfers.”