Leahy Statement On Forest Management Provisions In The Farm Bill, And The California Wildfires

"It is outrageous that House Republicans and the Trump Administration are continuing to hold up the Farm Bill negotiations over harmful and extreme forestry provisions.  Secretaries Perdue and Zinke shockingly are trying to co-opt the terrible tragedies in California to push for the Trump Administration’s crass, cynical and unaccountable logging of the public’s national forests.

“Both have failed to mention that Congress, in March of this year, a mere eight months ago, already provided both of their agencies with historic fire prevention tools that the Appropriations Committee enacted as part of the bipartisan Fiscal Year 2018 Omnibus Appropriations Act.  That bipartisan bill already cleared the way for them to perform expedited forest management practices and fuels reduction work on wildfire-prone forests.

“Instead of pushing for these extremely partisan provisions on behalf a small minority in the timber lobby, House Republicans and the Administration should be joining the Senate Farm Bill conferees to discuss bipartisan forestry solutions.  That is how the Forestry Title has always worked, going back to the very first one I authored in the 1990 Farm Bill.

“I strongly urge Secretary Perdue and Secretary Zinke to start using the new fire prevention tools already at their disposal, instead of holding baseless press conferences to rake and stir up the coals of this ongoing tragedy to try to push for additional extreme logging authority.”

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