Idaho Republican U.S. Representative Raul Labrador is pushing his colleagues to pass a bill aimed at reducing the risk of wildfires.
On Wednesday afternoon, Labrador issued a statement calling for the House to vote on a bill known as the Resilient Federal Forests Act, a bill on which he’s a co-sponsor. The Republican-led House approved it last year, but the Senate never considered it.
Labrador blamed Congress for some of the conditions related to the wildfires burning throughout the West. He says it has had plenty of warning that federal forest management practices would lead to wildfires and all that go with them, including the smoke that has settled over many parts of the region. And yet, he says, it has failed to act.
He says his bill would simplify the process for applying land management tools on federal lands, including timber harvests and replanting. He says the legislation provides incentives to get interest groups working together and institutes a new pilot program that would use arbitration to settle legal challenges.
Labrador says Congress should treat the wildfires with the same urgency as it does other natural disasters.