The NAASF and NASF alongside TNC, National Association of Forest Service Retirees, American Forests and others lead efforts to send a letter to the Administration and Congress earlier this week regarding recent plans at the USDA Forest Service to transfer funds from non-fire accounts to pay for wildland fire suppression. The letter is from nearly 100 diverse forestry, conservation and environmental organizations that call for support in securing supplemental funding (or other reimbursement options) to avoid disruptions in the delivery of other essential non-fire programs, including hazardous fuels reduction programs designed to reduce the threat of wildfire. The letter to House and Senate members also calls for adjustments in FY13 appropriations to avoid shortfalls in fire suppression funding and the need to transfer funds from non-fire programs in the year ahead.
UPDATE: On Thursday, the House voted to pass a continuing resolution (CR) that will fund federal agencies at the current rate of operations through March 27, 2013. The CR maintains provisions that add $240 million (above the FY12 enacted level) to the Wildland Fire Management account at the Forest Service for FY13 and makes $400 million available to repay funds transferred from non-fire accounts to pay for the remainder of the FY12 season. Additionally, the CR funds suppression accounts at the Department of Interior at FY12 enacted levels and makes $23 million available to repay non-fire accounts where funds were transferred to pay for suppression in FY12.
The Senate is expected to pass the House-passed CR next week without changes.