Today the Congressional Western Caucus hosted a 2022 Kick-off Chairmen’s Briefing to outline their goals and priorities for the Caucus in 2022.
Chairman Dan Newhouse, Senate Western Caucus Chairman Steve Daines), Republican Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik and other members of the caucus discussed their policy priorities for the upcoming year. The Congressional Western Caucus is made up of more than 60 members who serve as the voice of rural America in Congress. Many of the caucus’s policy priorities for the upcoming year regard improvements in domestic energy policy, private property rights, water policy, forest revitalization and farming and agriculture.
“Farmers, ranchers, and rural areas depend on clean sources of water to survive,” said Congressman Doug LaMalfa, executive vice chair of Western Caucus. “Unfortunately, 90 percent of western states faced catastrophic drought conditions in the last year. Our recent winter storms have shown that we have enough water, we just don’t have the reservoir capability to store it. Looking at long term solutions, such as increased water storage, combats catastrophic drought and ensures that we have enough water come fire season. As us western states are all too familiar, many of our towns were hit hard by yet another devastating fire season. Last summer multiple fires scorched over two million acres in my district, destroying thousands of homes, businesses, and municipal facilities. To help alleviate some of the financial burdens and accelerate rebuilding, I made rebuilding our towns and managing our forests a top priority in 2021, and I plan to continue these efforts into this year.
“Much of the west is federally-owned land and we need a far more aggressive approach in thinning our unmanaged, overgrown federal forests. California alone has an estimated 35 million tons of waste biomass available annually that sits on our forest floor, left to burn as fuel for wildfires and decompose in our forests. Converting natural waste biomass into biofuel is a win-win-win for energy production, forest fire curtailment, and job growth right here in our back yard. Rural America is the backbone of our country, and I am working to bring new economic and job opportunities to our rural towns. Our small towns and forested communities can’t wait. We have been burning up at record rates the last few years. Western Caucus and rural representatives are committed to working to improve wildland management practices, forest regrowth, and helping survivors of wildfires rebuild.”
About Congressman Doug LaMalfa
Congressman Doug LaMalfa is a lifelong farmer representing California’s First Congressional District, including Lassen, Butte, Glenn, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou and Tehama counties.