American Forests Helps Fan the FLAME for Enhanced Land Management
Washington, D.C.-based American Forests applauded the July 10 passage of H.R. 5541—the Federal Land Assistance Management and Enhancement Act (FLAME). The bill is an important step toward establishing a federal emergency fund for suppression of large and costly wildfires.
Costs associated with fire suppression have escalated due to hazardous fuels building up, climate change and increasingly populated wildland/urban interface areas, costing the U.S. Forest Service in excess of $1 billion in six of the last eight years, while other program funds have been dramatically reduced.
American Forests has been a key advocate for creating a supplemental fund for fighting catastrophic wildfires. In testimony before the House Committee on Natural Resources, American Forests’ vice president Gerry Gray, spoke of the need for an emergency wildfire suppression fund and the importance of protecting existing budgets of federal land management agencies. “By developing such a strategy,” observed Gray, “the agencies could, and should, then be directed to redistribute monies back into agency programs that have been severely cut by increasing suppression costs.”
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