Ah, summer...warmer days, gentle breezes, and...we're choking on the smoke from another Northwest Wild Fire!  Please, not again!

What are our leaders doing to help prevent a repeat of recent smoke-filled summers?

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This Is Why You Were Elected

We expect our elected representatives to tackle those kinds of problems and develop solutions and today a couple of Washingtonians are doing that.  Reps. Dan Newhouse (R-WA) and Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) introduced the Fostering Opportunities for Resources and Education Spending through Timber Sales (FORESTS) Act to encourage more proactive management of federal forests, reduce wildfire risks, and provide support to timber communities for investing in educational opportunities and economic development.

Speaker Ryan And House Leadership Address The Press After Weekly Conference
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Are we destined to face fires here every year?  Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers says no, we already know what to do. "In the Pacific Northwest, forest fires have become an unfortunate part of life, but it doesn’t have to be that way. We’ve seen in Colville National Forest how proactive management and collaboration can help prevent these fires from starting in the first place, which is progress we can build on,”

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Conditions Ripe For Fire - Time To Act

Executive Director of the National Association of Counties (NACo), Matthew Chase.

With record heat waves in the West and an overgrown National Forest System, conditions are ripe for another brutal wildfire season that harms the environment, threatens community safety, and needlessly sends valuable timber up in smoke, The FORESTS Act would improve forest health and sustainability

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4th District Congressman Dan Newhouse:

Active forest management is critical for reducing hazardous fuels and preventing the catastrophic wildfires facing Central Washington and the West...this legislation ensures that local land managers and conservationists can continue to conduct the responsible, innovative management that creates resilient forests and protects rural communities from devastating wildfires.

Deadly Wildfire Rages In Washington State
Stephen Brashear
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Forests Act Highlights

The FORESTS Act of 2022 will:

  • Establish Forest Active Management Areas (FAMA) within each National Forest Unit and set an annual volume requirement for timber production
  • Encourage Collaborative Forest Management Projects by prioritizing local collaboration including planning, decision-making, and management processes with input from multiple interested parties
  • Cut Regulatory Red Tape by categorically excluding the designation and management of Forest Active Management Areas from the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA).
  • Support Timber Communities by giving counties in which a project is conducted 25 percent of the revenues generated by a management project

Click here to view the full text of the bill.

LOOK: The most expensive weather and climate disasters in recent decades

Stacker ranked the most expensive climate disasters by the billions since 1980 by the total cost of all damages, adjusted for inflation, based on 2021 data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The list starts with Hurricane Sally, which caused $7.3 billion in damages in 2020, and ends with a devastating 2005 hurricane that caused $170 billion in damage and killed at least 1,833 people. Keep reading to discover the 50 of the most expensive climate disasters in recent decades in the U.S.