Our National Forests are one of our country’s greatest sustainable resources. Properly managed, they are healthy and balanced ecosystems that provide abundant benefits for not just one species, but all of the wildlife that depend on a diverse, multi-staged forest.  They also give us clean water and air, provide a host of recreational opportunities, and support our rural communities with jobs and the revenues they need to support critical services such as schools, road maintenance, and emergency response. 

Unfortunately, because they have not been adequately managed for nearly three decades, our forests are no longer healthy and we are seeing unprecedented wildfires, disease outbreaks and insect infestations.   Millions of acres of our great forests across the west are either already dead or dying, threatening the very viability of the forests themselves.  We must restore management to our forests in a way that enhances the ecosystem and provides habitat across the spectrum for a broad array of species—from those that require young forests for their survival, to those that depend upon old growth. 

I am committed to restoring the vibrancy of our National Forests -- and the rural communities who depend upon them.   My efforts so far have included:

  • Supporting legislation that provides $3.9 billion for wildfire suppression and firefighting, and increases hazardous fuel management by $30 million to $575 million.  This legislation encourages more active forest management to prevent wildfires by reducing fuel load and creating healthier forests and habitats for a variety of wildlife species. Wildfires have been increasing in severity over the past several years, damaging forests, threatening safety, and forcing the U.S. Forest Service to tap into its budget for other services and priorities.
  • Protecting access for recreation through preserving forest roads and supporting the Legacy Roads and Trails Remediation program to fund road and trail repair and maintenance, and remove fish passage barriers on our National Forests.
  • Supporting rural communities through reauthorization and funding for the Secure Rural Schools Act which reduces the financial burdens they face and increase the protection of those communities from wildfires.
  • Coordinating with a diverse stakeholder group in the development of forest management legislation that will focus on providing habitats for a broad array of species while also benefitting our local communities with much needed forest products and jobs.