Votes to Protect National Forests From Fires 

WASHINGTON D.C. __ Thursday July 9th, Rep. Paul Cook (R- Apple Valley) voted for HR 2647, the Resilient Federal Forest Act of 2015. This bill addresses the growing threat of wildfires. 

This bill would immediately allow the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to improve the health of our federal forests. It cuts through red tape, reduces project planning times, and reduces the cost of implementing forest management projects, all while protecting the environment.

It also addresses the challenge of funding for firefighting. In a bad wildfire season, the Forest Service frequently exhausts all firefighting funding and is forced to borrow funds from various non-fire accounts to pay for wildfire suppression. Most of these non-fire accounts fund important fire prevention activities such as forest thinning and the removal of dead trees. HR 2647 deals with this problem by allowing the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) to transfer funds to the Forest Service and BLM for firefighting when funds are exhausted.

Cook said, “The Lake Fire reminded everyone what a serious threat wildfires are to our community. Thanks to the efforts of our fire fighters and other emergency personnel, the fire was contained without any loss of life. 

This effort comes with a price that is in the tens of millions of dollars.This bill helps ensure that we have the funds necessary to fight future wildfires without taking vital funds away from activities that can prevent fires before they start. Thinning forests and removing dead trees are key steps toward preventing catastrophic wildfires like the Lake Fire. This timely bill will help our fire fighters keep us safe and will save lives by helping to prevent future fires. I’m proud to support this important bill.”