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Bob Larson Forest Management Pt 2
by Bob Larson, click here for bio

Program: Washington State Farm Bureau Report
Date: September 20, 2017

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I’m Bob Larson. As wildfires continue to blaze across Washington state and much of the west again this summer, bleeding the coffers dry, lawmakers in the other Washington are working on answers. Representative Dan Newhouse says while it’s been a summer of natural disasters, wildfires don’t have the necessary funding mechanism in place …

DAN NEWHOUSE … “That’s one of the issues we’re dealing with in some of this legislation. They are not considered or treated like a natural disaster such as what we’re seeing in Houston or in Florida with the hurricanes. And, that’s some of what we’re trying to change. Wildfires, if they were, could be eligible for more FEMA assistance than they are now. And, that would then free up the forest service budget for other things.”

Newhouse says he isn’t sure if more funding will be made available to help pay for this summer’s fires …

DAN NEWHOUSE … “Whether there will be additional dollars coming in this year, that hasn’t been determined. By the time fire season is over, we’ll see what the need is and pay those bills as we have to. But, I’m looking at the long-term trying to fix the problem instead of always having this fire-borrowing issue staring us in the face.”

Newhouse says other bills address better forest management to remove some of the fuels.

Much of the Forest Service budget is eaten up fighting the fires, leaving nothing for improved forest management practices like increased logging that some say would help with funding.

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