Please sign up for my enews letter to receive the latest wildfire prevention information
Congressman Gosar Leads Charge to Better Fight Forest Fires
Reforming Federal Forest Health Policy
Our forests and natural resources are a way of life in Arizona. Rural Arizona is home to over nine million acres of United States Forest Service administered land, including much of Apache-Sitgreaves, Coconino, Coronado, Kaibab, Prescott, and Tonto National Forests.
These ecosystems are suffocating under too many trees. Where we once had 10 to 25 trees per acre, we now have hundreds. These conditions have increased wildfire conditions. The frequency of fires, and the magnitude of the acreage burned, has exponentially increased since 1990. The five largest wildfires, Rodeo in 2002, Cave Creek in 2005, Willow in 2004, Aspen in 2003, and the recent Wallow Fire have all occurred in the last ten years. Prior to 1990, the largest fire was the Carrizo fire in 1970 which burned just 57,000 acres.
Our forests have been mismanaged for a long time and it is way past due to change our strategy. As you Congressman, I have been fighting for proactive, solutions oriented, and fiscally sustainable policies that restore the environment, improve public safety, and put people back to work in our forests.
Congressman Gosar Introduces Legislation to Prevent Catastrophic Wildfires
This year, I introduced the Catastrophic Wildfire Prevention Act of 2013 (H.R. 1345) a forest health bill that seeks to reduce government bureaucracy so that wildfire prevention projects can move forward quickly when the public is at risk. The Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands held a hearing on my wildfire bill in April, and my opening statement can be seen HERE or below.
At the hearing, Arizona leaders also testified on the importance of the Catastrophic Wildfire Prevention Act of 2013 in protecting local communities and improving forest health.
Andy Groseta – Cottonwood, AZ – President, Arizona Cattle Growers’ Association
“It has become all too clear from the millions of charred acres across the west that the planning process currently in use by the federal agencies is woefully broken. Planning, studying, consulting, litigating, appealing then planning and studying more for months and even years on end is not working and must be changed. We urge the committee to advance the Catastrophic Wildfire Prevention Act of 2013 without delay, to enact commonsense solutions to reduce the threat of wildfire on public lands. H.R. 1345 will provide tools the agencies need to effectively manage the Nation’s forests.”
Tommie Martin – Payson, AZ – District 1 Supervisor and Vice Chair, Gila County, AZ
“Our ability to maintain a robust and diverse economy in Gila County has been eroded over the last forty years, in large part due to the restriction of access to resources on the federal lands. Because of this, the once vibrant logging and ranching industries in Gila County are now nearly extinct. Representative Gosar’s bipartisan bill addresses many issues of great importance to Gila County and I strongly support it. The West is in crisis, and there are only signs of it getting worse. Federal land management policies must change direction immediately. We have no time to waste.”