This week NASF joined others in the forestry community in support of funding for wildland fire management activities as the Senate considered a continuing resolution to fund the Federal government for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2013. After experiencing a brutal fire season in 2012 and continuing drought conditions contributing to predictions of a comparable if not worse 2013 wildfire season, funding for the Forest Service and Department of Interior agencies is crucial to ensuring the safety of hundreds of communities.
The group has sent letters of request to leaders of the Senate Appropriations Committee, respectively, Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Richard Shelby (R-AL), Jack Reed (D-RI), and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), urging they match the House’s proposed level of support for 2013.
Last year was the third worst fire season since 1960, and the USDA Forest Service ran out of money to fight fires in September. In anticipation of another dangerous fire season, members of a coalition of conservation, timber, retired agency personnel, and wildlife groups-—called the Fire Suppression Funding Solutions Partner Caucus — also sent a letter thanking U.S. House members Hal Rodgers (R-KY), Nita Lowey (D-NY), Michael Simpson (R-ID), and James Moran (D-VA) for their support of $3.5 billion for Forest Service and Interior Department Wildland Fire Management and FLAME fire suppression reserve accounts in 2013.
The most recent letters followed recommendations sent by the coalition last September.