Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-WA., has called on President Donald Trump to restore $600 million that would be cut from wildfire management in the president’s proposed budget.
In a letter to Trump, Cantwell called on Trump to “heed current science to guide your policy decisions around addressing wildfires.”
Cantwell, ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, cited a recent study that found the government approach to managing wildfires is inadequate in a “new era of intense wildfires.”
To date this year, wildfires have burned 2.2 million acres, a level of activity that is 400 percent above normal, the study found.
Undercutting the federal wildland fire program will force agencies to transfer funding from non-fire activities to pay for the fire management.
Those transfers hurt companies that bear costs of delayed or canceled projects, and hurt local communities that depend on national forests to operate efficiently.
Cantwell urged the president to include a fix to the “fire-borrowing problem.”
“Successfully addressing the wildfire problem will make our communities safer, our local economies stronger, our forest healthier, and our country greater,” Cantwell said.