WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Steve Daines announced Thursday the creation of the bipartisan Senate Wildfire Caucus to focus on common sense forest management reform, wildland firefighter assistance, wildfire recovery efforts, and community hardening.
Daines joined Senator Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Representatives John Curtis (R-Utah) and Joe Neguse (D-Colo.) in launching the caucus. The caucus will also elevate awareness and bipartisan consensus around wildfire management, mitigation, preparedness and recovery.
“Montanans are sick and tired of breathing in smoke. As Montana continues to face devastating wildfires season after season, we must work together to find common sense solutions that will protect our communities, first responders, forests and wildlife. If we don’t manage our forests, they’ll manage us. It’s time to get to work,” Daines said.
“Wildfires regularly spread across state borders, and the devastation they cause to our communities and forests touch us all," Feinstein said. "We must work together to fight this growing threat, which is why I am pleased to partner with Sen. Daines and Reps. Neguse and Curtis to make the Bipartisan Wildfire Caucus a bicameral effort. The entire American West is at risk from increasingly destructive wildfires, and I look forward to this caucus promoting necessary, common sense solutions to protect our communities and the environment."
The Caucus membership includes Reps. Carbajal (D-Calif.), Costa (D-Calif.), Garamendi (D-Calif.), Harder (D-Calif.), Huffman (D-Calif.), Issa (R-Calif.), Jacobs (D-Calif.), LaMalfa (R-Calif.), Obernolte (R-Calif.), Panetta (D-Calif.), Peters (D-Calif.), Porter (D-Calif.), Dunn (R-Fla.), Simpson (R-Idaho), Bentz (R-Ore.), Moore (R-Utah), Owens (R-Utah), Stewart (R-Utah), Newhouse (R-Wash.) and Schrier (D-Wash.); additional members are required to join in equal, bipartisan pairs.
The bipartisan wildfire caucus:
Advocates for wildfire-related programs, including funding for disaster relief, prevention and mitigation.
Shares federal relief programs and resources with communities before, during and after wildfire season.
Highlights balanced and bipartisan science-based wildfire management and mitigation proposals in Congress.