State

Dec 28, 2012 2:24 PM by Kirsten Bennett

Wildfire funding amendment rejected by U.S. Senate

The U.S. Senate today rejected an amendment introduced by Senator Mark Udall (D-Colo.) and Senator Jon Tester (D-Mont.).

The amendment would have fully funded the U.S. Forest Service's Wildland Fire Management Fund ahead of the 2013 wildfire season, according to a news release by Sen. Udall.

"These additional funds would have ensured that the U.S. Forest Service was prudently and appropriately prepared to help prevent and fight catastrophic wildfires next year in Colorado and across the West. I am concerned that the U.S. Senate has decided to turn a blind eye to these predictable disaster needs," Udall said.

Udall and Tester's amendment to the Supplemental Appropriation for Disaster Assistance would have restored $653 million to the Forest Service's Wildland Fire Management Account, which funds wildland fire preparedness, suppression, hazardous fuels reduction, fire research and development, and state fire assistance. The amendment would have increased the budget request for the Wildland Fire Management fund to the projected median cost of the 2013 wildfire season, $1.584 billion.

The amendment was part of the Supplemental Appropriation for Disaster Assistance, a measure which would primarily fund relief efforts on the east coast following Hurricane Sandy.

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