For the last three years, wildfires have rampaged through Oregon and destroyed delicate ecosystems, polluted air quality, endangered rural communities, and also cost the state millions of dollars. In a recent legislative poll conducted by Senator Tim Knopp (R-Bend), Central Oregonians made it clear that the reduction of wildfires, through sustainable forest management plans, is a top priority.
“My constituents told me what was most important to them, and now we are moving forward with legislative policy to meet a great concern of many Oregonians,” said Senator Knopp.
Senator Knopp introduced a comprehensive forest management plan for wildfire reduction. The plan consists of Oregon’s entrance into a Master Good Neighbor Authority Agreement, an audit of money allocated for federal forest health, and also assistance for reforestation after devastating wildfires, which includes forest restoration by-products in green energy technology.
“This comprehensive plan brings together innovative ideas that will help manage our federal forests, utilize and promote forest stewardship, reduce risk of wildfire, and bring family wage jobs to Oregonians,” said Senator Knopp.
Other states, including Wisconsin, are signing Master Good Neighbor Authority Agreements with the Federal Government. These agreements allow states to effectively and efficiently manage federal forest land.
Oregon is currently in the process of entering a Master Good Neighbor Authority Agreement, but has yet to complete the action. “Oregonians clearly see the looming crisis. If we don’t better manage our forests, we will watch them burn again and again. I am encouraged by the work of the Oregon Department of Forestry, but Oregonians cannot wait any longer. I will move forward with this legislation to make sure that we enter into a Master Good Neighbor Authority Agreement no later than August 1, 2016,” said Senator Knopp.