by Steve Kallesser, Division Chair
Today, the NJ Division of the Allegheny SAF — through its members and friends — have asked New Jersey’s senators and members of Congress to come together around a comprehensive solution to wildfire funding. The Society of American Foresters has been active in the Partner Caucus on Fire Suppression Funding Solutions — a broad coalition of conservation and environmental organizations. That coalition is calling for (1) addressing the continued erosion of agency budgets given increasing wildfire costs, (2) access to disaster funding for extremely costly fires, (3) and reduction in the need to transfer funds from non-suppression accounts and programs.
Today’s wildfire funding situation consistently short-changes states like New Jersey by taking from programs that benefit our residents and advance forest science, in order to send that money out west. Regardless of what state you live in, this has been a problem for years and harms the ability of the US Forest Service, National Parks Service, Bureau of Land Management, and other federal agencies to meet their missions. If it were not so, you would not see such a coalition as this, with everyone from professional societies such as SAF and The Wildlife Society, preservation organizations such as Sierra Club and Defenders of Wildlife, and industry groups working together.
To read a copy of the letter, click here.