Missed Opportunity: Wildfire Funding Fix, Forest Management Reforms Not Included in Omnibus

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

WASHINGTON (December 16, 2015)—The National Association of State Foresters (NASF) is extremely disappointed in Congress' inability to arrive at a compromise that addresses wildland fire funding and forest management reforms.

Paul DeLong, Wisconsin State Forester and President of the National Association of State Foresters said today:

“State Foresters are disappointed by this missed opportunity to fix the wildfire funding problem and allow for much-needed forest management reforms.

“Fire is not just a western issue and it is not just a public lands issue. The impacts of this broken fire funding system are national in scale. The transfer of funds from non-suppression accounts to pay for disaster wildfires directly impacts every state forestry agency’s ability to deliver critical forest conservation and management programs. Until we fix the fire funding issue, federal land managers will not be able to invest in critically needed proactive forest management projects.

“Public benefits including clean air and water, wildlife habitat, places to recreate and good jobs are all at risk if we don’t have healthy, resilient forests. We need more active forest management on all lands, public and private.

“We appreciate the incredible efforts undertaken once again this year by a bipartisan group of forest champions in Congress to advance a fire funding fix. NASF is hopeful that in 2016 leaders in Congress will finally fix the destructive wildfire funding problem and allow for forest management reforms. These are urgent problems that need bipartisan solutions as quickly as possible.”

Contact: Amanda Cooke, NASF Communications Director at acooke@stateforesters.org or 202-624-5417.

The National Association of State Foresters represents State and Territorial Forester interests by influencing forest policy and leading efforts to optimize social, economic, and environmental benefits of trees and forests. Learn more at www.stateforesters.org.