Murkowski: Lack of Forest Management Contributes to Wildfires

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, expressed frustration with the Forest Service’s wildfire policies at a hearing today of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Murkowski, the ranking member of the committee, released the following statement:

“Almost 10 years ago, we had a fire season very similar to the one we’re now suffering. In response, Congress passed the Healthy Forest Restoration Act, which authorized thinning and other efforts to reduce the amount of fuel on 20 million acres of national forests. However, despite the pledge of every forest supervisor to fully implement the law, less than a third of the authorized projects were ever completed.

“We now have another bad fire season on our hands – some 4 million acres has already burned – and we’re still grappling with the same problems as a decade ago. I believe responsibility for that failure rest with the land management agencies.”