In 1991, wildfire management accounted for 13 percent of the US Forest
Service budget. Today, it is almost 50 percent. Congress’ irresponsible
approach to paying for wildfire suppression is eating up funds that would
otherwise go to important conservation programs, including programs intended to
reduce the costs and severity of future wildfires.
For years, the Forest Service
has had to borrow billions of dollars from critical conservation programs to fund
wildfire suppression when Congress doesn’t allocate enough dollars, and has then been forced to rely on Congress to pass emergency funding bills to repay the programs
that were raided. This is no way to budget for natural disasters, and it runs completely
counter to how we budget for hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and all other
Congress has a critical opportunity to fix wildfire funding
before they leave town in August. Tell Congress to support the bipartisan
Wildfire Disaster Funding Act (S. 1875 in the Senate and H.R. 3992 in the
House). If they don’t, all other conservation programs are at risk of being
raided again this summer, including popular programs like the Land and Water
Conservation Fund, the Legacy Roads and Trails program, and the National
Landscape Conservation System.
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Dear Member of Congress,
Sincerely, [Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP]