State foresters honor key lawmakers behind wildfire funding fix

Oregon senator, Idaho representative honored by state foresters for their leadership in finalizing a wildfire funding fix.

WASHINGTON—The National Association of State Foresters today presented Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon and Representative Mike Simpson of Idaho with the 2018 Bernard L. Orell Award, commemorating their tremendous leadership in advancing a comprehensive fix for funding wildfire suppression​.

“State foresters are honored to present the 2018 Bernard L. Orell Award to such deserving lawmakers,” said Lisa Allen, NASF president and Missouri state forester. “Senator Wyden and Representative Simpson understand the critical importance of cross-boundary forest management and have a proven track record as champions for smart forest policy.”

Senator Wyden has been an invaluable supporter of sound and practical forest management throughout this congressional tenure. As a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, he worked across the aisle to fix the way wildfire suppression is funded once and for all, and to enact valuable forest management reforms that will improve the health of all the nation’s forests.

As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, Representative Simpson has been a vocal advocate for the public benefits of all forests. His tireless work to craft and advance legislation to address the problematic ten-year average for fire suppression funding was critical to the passage of the wildfire funding fix.

The Bernard L. Orell Award is presented annually to a member or members of Congress who have made a significant contribution to state and private forestry. It is named in memory of the late Bernard L. Orell, who served as Washington state forester from 1949 to 1953 and went on to advocate for sound forest policy as vice president for Weyerhaeuser.

Contact: Whitney Forman-Cook, NASF Communications Director at (202) 624-5417 and

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