Walden upset fuels reduction funds cut from bill

11 January 2019

Published by https://www.ktvz.com/

USA – WASHINGTON – Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., expressed dismay Friday that House Democrats cut funding for hazardous fuels reduction in a bill that would end the partial government shutdown.

“After one of the most deadly fire seasons in American history, Democrats in the U.S. House cut funding for hazardous fuels reduction efforts and then blocked a plan by Republicans to restore it to previously agreed-upon levels,”  Walden said in a statement.

“What were they thinking? The $21 million cut means less thinning and fuel removal and more fires and smoke,” the 2nd District representative added.

Walden said he was the only member of the Oregon delegation to support restoring the funds.

In the end, Walden voted for the funding package in order to reopen BLM, Forest Service and Park Service operations. But he said this was a “missed opportunity to improve the health of Oregon’s forests and protect our communities from wildfire.”

“After Oregonians suffered through yet another summer of choking on smoke, Congress should do everything in our power to improve forest management to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires. It’s the wrong time to reject adequate resources for forest restoration, hazardous fuels reduction and wildfire planning,” the lawmaker said.

“While I am disappointed by the cuts, I will continue my efforts to implement proven fire prevention techniques to protect our communities, our forests, and our environment. With another wildfire season on the horizon, Congress must make forest management a priority to reduce the risk of wildfire in Oregon and across the West,” Walden added.

To read more about Walden’s work to improve forest management in Oregon, click here.

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