U.S. Representative Jared Polis

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House Passes Polis Fire Management Amendment in FLAME Act

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Washington, March 26, 2009 | comments
Today, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously approved an amendment offered by Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO) that would require the Secretaries of Interior and Agriculture to update the Cohesive Fire Management Plan every five years and present it to Congress.  Without this amendment, the plan risks quickly falling out-of-date from things like climate change and the pine beetle infestation.  

“My district is a prime example of why we need an ever-evolving Fire Management Plan,” said Polis.  “We’ve been hit hard by climate change and the pine beetle epidemic that has killed millions of acres of forest and has brought the dreaded-threat of wildfire to our backyards.  My amendment ensures that we update the Cohesive Fire Management Plan at least once every five years, so that it takes into account the changing needs of our climate and our communities.”

The amendment was offered to H.R. 1404, the Federal Land Assistance, Management and Enhancement (FLAME) Act, which passed the House today by a vote of 412-3.  Section 3 of the FLAME Act directs the Secretaries of Interior and Agriculture to develop a Cohesive Fire Management Plan.  

Congressman Polis’ amendment requires the secretaries to update the plan at least once every five years and present it to Congress.  By continually revising the plan, federal agencies will take climate change, the pine beetle infestation, population growth, and other factors of change into account and ensure that the plan remains an effective tool into the future.

“This amendment is a real win for Americans living under the threat of wildfires,” said Polis.  “We need to ensure that such a fundamental part of our wildfire management policy stays up-to-date and doesn’t let our communities fall by the wayside.  I am proud to have been a part of this act, which is vitally important to protecting Coloradans and ensuring responsible wildfire policy across the nation.”

Video and text of Congressman Polis’ floor speech is available on his website at www.polis.house.gov.
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