Colorado Wildfires, Hearing Before the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, United States Senate, One Hundred Twelfth Congress, Second Session to Discuss the Recent Colorado Wildfires, Focusing on Lessons Learned That Can be Applied to Future Suppression, Recovery and Mitigation Efforts, Colorado Springs, CO, August 15, 2012 [open pdf - 304KB]
From the opening statement of Mark Udall: "Today, we will have an informative discussion on the wildfire challenges the West faces, as well as finding lessons that we can apply to future suppression, recovery, and mitigation efforts. Our forests are the backdrop and backbone to many rural and urban communities. They provide a wide range of benefits, including clean drinking water for millions of people across the U.S., vital wildlife habitat, jobs in the forest products industry, and a variety of recreation opportunities. But it's also well understood that our forests, regardless of their stewards, face significant threats to their overall health. More people in fire prone landscapes, larger and more frequent wild land fires, long-term drought, the bark beetle outbreak, and unhealthy landscapes have created a perfect storm: wild land fires that continue to burn larger and require more resources to fight every year. Fire suppression now consumes nearly half of the U.S. Forest Service's annual budget. That's an astounding figure that should be an eye-opener to all of us. For a different outcome, we need a different approach, and we all do have a role to play. In this case, the best offense, in my opinion, is a good defense. The same principle applies to wildfires." Statements, letters, and materials submitted for the record include those of the following: Jimbo Buickerood, Nancy Fishering, James Hubbard, Merrill R. Kaufmann, Mike King, and Mark Udall.
S. Hrg. 112-593; Senate Hearing 112-593
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