SEVERE WX : Wind Advisory View Alerts
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Representative Walden Visits Medford, Urges Federal Aid for Forest Management

The congressman says that federal funding for forest management will come from the 2018 Farm Bill—if his recommendations make it into the final bill which has yet to be reconciled.

Posted: Aug 2, 2018 6:04 PM

MEDFORD, Ore. — Visiting an area of his constituency on Tuesday that is all-but surrounded by wildfires, Representative Greg Walden (R-Hood River) made his case for why "sweeping improvements" to federal forest management should be included in the final form of the 2018 Farm Bill.

Those improvements sucessfully made it into the House of Representatives version of the bill, which passed the House in June. However, Walden's office says that the same changes have yet to appear in the Senate version of the bill. When the two bills are combined, the future of that aid becomes uncertain.

"The West is burning," Walden said in a letter sent on Tuesday to lawmakers who will be charged with reconciling the two bills. "Lives have been tragically lost. Homes and other property have been destroyed. Smoke is choking our skies, leaving residents of southern Oregon and elsewhere with the worst air quality in the nation. It does not have to be this way."

Congressman Walden claims that he continues to push for active forest management that would remove fuels and lessen the ongoing threat of fire and smoke for Oregonians.

"Communities across the West should not have to face the increasing threat of wildfire and choke on smoke each summer because of mismanagement of our public lands. We can do better," Walden said.

Walden cited John Bailey, a professor at Oregon State University, who testified last fall before the Energy and Commerce Committee that some areas of eastern Oregon have nearly 1,000 trees per acre on land that historically had 20 trees per acre. Walden argues that overstocked tree stands fuel the West's increasingly destructive fires.

In a meeting with Southern Oregon business owners on Thursday, Walden announced that the House Energy and Commerce Committee would hold a hearing to examine the air quality impacts of wildfire smoke—pointing again to his proposed improvements to forest management policy as a way to address the issue.

"Year after year, people in the West are suffering from the effects of catastrophic fire and the smoke that comes with it," said Walden in a video message. "People end up having to wear masks, stay inside, and events are canceled. It's time for Congress to act. As Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, I'm announcing that we are going to hold a hearing this fall to look at the health consequences of the smoke from these catastrophic wildfires."

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 345344

Reported Deaths: 4084
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah54651678
Washington37724310
Marion35705439
Clackamas28835298
Lane26661291
Jackson22465297
Deschutes19252122
Umatilla14081139
Linn12200114
Douglas11664238
Josephine9174191
Yamhill8438108
Klamath7549106
Polk707380
Malheur542374
Benton521531
Coos481591
Columbia368143
Jefferson355650
Union309944
Lincoln306033
Wasco275839
Crook263643
Clatsop238027
Baker195628
Tillamook191926
Hood River186036
Morrow180223
Curry177019
Harney106424
Grant96512
Lake86910
Wallowa65712
Gilliam1484
Sherman1453
Wheeler941
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 4802761

Reported Deaths: 70456
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles147341026379
Riverside3689534978
San Diego3631694151
San Bernardino3558485562
Orange3224975513
Sacramento1574982273
Santa Clara1443001886
Fresno1437452048
Kern1437161600
Alameda1197741365
San Joaquin1016431696
Ventura1004421162
Contra Costa99102969
Stanislaus849231310
Tulare78753945
San Francisco53974644
San Mateo53781618
Monterey50676582
Solano45734334
Santa Barbara44770518
Merced41680577
Sonoma40638400
Placer38813412
Imperial35591762
Kings32197312
San Luis Obispo29590330
Madera23420281
Butte23298257
Shasta23230334
Santa Cruz20830217
Yolo20092247
Marin17570243
El Dorado16947149
Sutter13762169
Napa12797100
Yuba992780
Tehama9240103
Humboldt9085108
Nevada902590
Mendocino751686
Lassen743743
San Benito735972
Tuolumne671793
Lake6499103
Amador536763
Siskiyou442742
Glenn429930
Calaveras380279
Del Norte355739
Colusa301618
Inyo194239
Mono16285
Plumas15476
Mariposa126215
Trinity85811
Modoc6678
Sierra1710
Unassigned1480
Alpine1020
Out of CA00
Medford
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 70°
Brookings
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 63°
Crater Lake
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 53° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 70°
Grants Pass
Partly Cloudy
70° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 70°
Klamath Falls
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 68°
Big changes later this weekend
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events