Yesterday, Ranking Member Doug LaMalfa led the House Agriculture Subcommittee of Conservation and Forestry in a hearing titled, “A 2022 Review of the Farm Bill: Forestry”. This hearing comes at the beginning of the heart of the 2022 fire season, with already more than five million acres burned across the country with nearly 80 large fires currently burning.
“Our public lands are facing a crisis, and we must act now,” LaMalfa said. “The Forest Service needs to cut trees, thin overgrown vegetation, restore our forests, and coordinate with private industry to add value to the timber and slash to be removed from our public forests. The Forestry Title of the farm bill must be used to increase the pace and scale of forest management – tens of millions of acres are at risk of catastrophic fire. We must continue the progress made in the 2018 farm bill by expanding partnerships and authorities that allow for increased landscape-scale treatments. We are seeing landscape-scale fires — the Dixie Fire in my district was nearly a million acres — so we need forest management that matches that scale. As we begin the process of writing the next farm bill, it’s vital to address what authorities need to be added or expanded to combat the catastrophic fires that are threatening the West. I look forward to leading this discussion today.”