An adjustment to HR 167 the Wildfire Disaster Funding Act has been introduced into congress as a bipartisan bill by U.S. Reps. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, and Kurt Schrader, D-Oregon.  This new version of this bill would end the Forest Service’s practice of “fire borrowing,” in which it diverts annual budget money from regular activities to pay for firefighting.
According to[ Representative Simpson, | http://simpson.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=398378]one of the representatives who introduced the adjustment to the bill, “There are a number of steps that we need to take to address forest health and management issues, but fixing the wildfire suppression budget must be the first one,” said Simpson. “Until we address this issue, anything we do to increase needed management activities in the forests, like hazardous fuels removal, timber harvest, conservation, or trail maintenance, will continue to be lost in fire transfers. Fixing the wildfire budget is the critical first step in making our forests healthier and, ultimately, reducing the cost of wildfires in the future.”
Representative Simpson also stated, "The way we currently budget for fire is costing taxpayers and destroying our forests,” said Simpson. “Passing this legislation will have a significant and long-term impact on both our public lands and on our budget, allowing us to finally budget responsibly for wildfire suppression in a way that ultimately decreases firefighting costs by mitigating fire risk and making us better prepared for and more resilient against future fires.”
What do you think about this newly drafted bipartisan legislation?
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This picture of the Capitol Building is from Representative Simpson's site.
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