All this smoke reminds us that we must do more to protect and manage our forests. I have being leading bipartisan efforts to improve forest management and provide the resources needed to fight forest fires when they occur.
In 2015, I helped pass the Resilient Federal Forests Act — to keep federal forests from becoming a tinderbox and bringing USFS funding to fight wildfires into the 21st century.
Earlier this year, I introduced the FORESTS Act of 2017 to encourage common-sense approaches to forest management improving forest health, reducing wildfires, providing funds for rural schools, and creating rural jobs. In March, I joined Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-WA) in introducing the Timber Innovation Act, bipartisan legislation to support innovation in the timber industry and to incentivize active forest management.
I also hosted a bipartisan roundtable for the launch of the Congressional Working Forests Caucus to discuss long term approaches to preventing wildfires. I also voted to provide the resources needed for the Forest Service with more than half of that funding targeting fire preparedness and suppression.
Eastern Washington is home to some of the greatest natural resources. Our local communities and their leaders know how to manage our lands better than any unelected bureaucrats in Washington, DC. My legislation, backed by the necessary resources for our firefighters, will help keep rural communities safe from fires and clear the air over our cities.
In the meantime, please join me in thanking the men and women on the front lines fighting fires, and take care to stay healthy during the smoky weather.