Wildfire Management, Hearing Before the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, United States Senate, One Hundred Twelfth Congress, First Session to Consider the Wildfire Management Programs of the Federal Land Management Agencies, June 14, 2011 [open pdf - 263KB]
From the opening statement of Jeff Bingaman: "It has been a dynamic year of severe weather--intense tornadoes, flooding throughout much of the United States, extreme drought, and wildfire activity in the southwest and much of the south. The overall trend of increasing drought and wildfire in the west and southwest have been attributed by numerous scientific reports to climate change, including the recent report of our National Academy of Sciences entitled, ''America's Climate Choices.'' Since climate change will continue into the future, we can expect the incidence of severe weather and further drying out of the already arid regions of the west to continue as well. We had a hearing in Santa Fe about 6 weeks ago with some experts, and the point was made repeatedly that droughts will be more frequent in the southwest, and they will last longer than they have in the past. In the news this last week, we have seen the kinds of challenges that we face. Federal land management agencies are currently battling severe wildfires in Arizona, which are now coming into New Mexico, Colorado, Alaska, and elsewhere. Obviously we express our concern for the families who have lost their homes, and for those whose property remains at risk. We also want to express our gratitude to the thousands of fire fighters and wildfire managers who are working tirelessly to protect lives, property, and natural resources. The challenges posed by the larger and more intense drought and wildfires have called for a variety of policy changes to adapt to these new realities. As a result of some of the policies that we have urged here in this committee, for the first time in years, I believe the agencies are making progress on a range of critical wildfire management issues." Statements, letters, and materials submitted for the record include those of the following: Jeff Bingaman, Jon Kyl, Kin Thorsen, Lisa Murkowski, and Tom Tidwell.
S. Hrg. 112-128; Senate Hearing 112-128
Government Printing Office, Federal Digital System: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/