Budget-Busting Wildfires Prompt a “FLAME” Solution
Monday, March 10, 2008
Portland, OR – Almost 20 million acres have been lost to wildfires in the U.S. over the past two years, and some of the biggest blazes have been right here in Oregon. A new bill in Congress proposes a new way to pay for fighting these fires. The "FLAME" Act would create a special, federal fund to be used only for the largest and most dangerous wildfires, which also are the most expensive.
Jaelith Hall-Rivera, a wildfire policy analyst for The Wilderness Society, says budgeting emergency money for the toughest fires makes sense.
"The costs of suppression continue to skyrocket, topping out at over a billion dollars per year for five of the last seven years. Something has to change."
Hall-Rivera reports a few, very large fires use up about 85 percent of the fire suppression budget. She also thinks if a special fund has to be tapped, it will prompt greater consideration of when to keep "hands off," and some let fires burn out naturally.
The fires have consumed more than acreage -- they're also consuming the already-tight budgets of the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management. Hall-Rivera believes the bill would allow the agencies to pick up other public priorities that have been neglected.
"They can invest funds in trails management, campground maintenance, fish and wildlife habitat are things that they have been largely unable to do in the past few years."
The Federal Land Assistance, Management and Enhancement (FLAME) Act, HR 5541, was introduced in Congress last week.
get more stories like this via email
RICHMOND, Va. - As U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., takes heat this week for attending a posh fundraiser in a dress that said "Tax the …
EAST TROY, Wis. - Wisconsin farmers are looking ahead to the fall harvest, and those who use cover crops face a deadline to sign up for a research …
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - The pandemic is shining a new light on the burdens felt by family caregivers, and a bill in Congress would remove some of the …
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - State Rep. Randy Fine, R-Palm Bay, is lashing out against the idea of Critical Race Theory, filing a bill to ban its use in all …
PORTLAND, Ore. - Wealthy Americans have a message for Congress: Tax us more. More than 200 high-income taxpayers and business owners have sent an …
ALBANY, N.Y. - As a U.S. House committee debates the Biden administration's "Build Back Better" Act, a letter from more than 200 wealthy Americans …
By Sonali Kolhatkar for Yes! Media. Broadcast version by Lily Bohlke for Commonwealth News Service reporting for the YES! Media-Public News Service …
MANCHESTER, N.H. - Three New Hampshire professors are among those who've signed a letter urging the United Nations General Assembly to adopt what's …