Thank you Mr. Speaker.
As our country reels from the devastation of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, another disaster ravages our Pacific Northwest.
I rise today to once again bring attention to problem that is decades in the making: wildfire and our national forests.
The mismanagement of these forests over the last 30 years have destroyed the health of our beautiful national forests.
Our land management agencies are paralyzed by litigation. Radical groups dictate the policy. As a result our forests have never been in worse condition.
Fuel loads in our forests are now so great, once a fire begins there is little hope of being able to contain them.
With 193 million acres in the National Forest System, nearly 40% is vulnerable to wildfire, insects and disease, and in need of treatment.
Yet harvest levels on federal lands remain low, with tree growth and mortality rates far exceeding removal.
We need to change this or this is what will happen.
This is the Eagle Creek fire right outside the city of Portland by the Bridge of Gods.
Every year we don’t act the problem gets worse.
We need to reform our forest management practices and we need to do it now.
Enough is enough.
And I yield back.