Wyden, Merkley: Bill fails to fully fix wildfire funding issue

November 21, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

WASHINGTON – Following the Senate Appropriations Committee’s release of its draft 2018 Interior and Environment bill, Oregon Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden called the bill’s wildfire provisions insufficient to prevent a repeat of 2017’s funding squeeze, reiterating their call for a full, long-term fix to wildfire suppression and prevention funding. Currently, the U.S. Forest Service and other agencies must raid funding from other programs to pay for wildfire suppression during bad wildfire years when suppression costs exceed the budgeted cost for fighting fires. …Merkley and Wyden have been pushing for the year-end government funding agreement to include a version of the Wildfire Disaster Funding Act, bipartisan legislation from Wyden and Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID) that would end this cycle by treating wildfires similar to other natural disasters.

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