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House Passes Bill to Prevent Catastrophic Wildfire in Oregon


WASHINGTON, D.C., July 11, 2018 -

Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 2075, the Crooked River Ranch Fire Protection Act. Introduced by Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), this bill makes necessary adjustments to the wilderness study areas adjacent to Crooked River Ranch in Oregon to reduce the risk of wildfire for the local community.

“Once again Congress is showing it is serious about protecting communities from devastating wildfires. This bill cuts bureaucratic red-tape that limits the fire prevention tools available to land managers and firefighters.  This common-sense bill will help prevent the devastation of life and property by wildfire in the Crooked River Ranch community.  I’m thankful for Rep. Walden’s commitment to this issue and look forward to supporting this bill as it works its way through Congress,” Chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah) stated.  

“This bill is an important public safety issue for the more than 5,000 residents of Crooked River Ranch. I’ve worked closely with local fire officials, first responders, and community leaders in crafting this legislation, addressing their concerns about the excess fire fuels that have built up around Crooked River Ranch. This legislation makes common-sense adjustments to the wilderness study areas that border the community, creating a safe zone between there and the homes where fire prevention work and firefighting can more readily occur. Chairman Bishop has been a steadfast partner in moving this important legislation through the Natural Resources Committee. I look forward to continuing to work alongside him to get this bill to the President’s desk,” Rep. Walden said.  

Background:

Crooked River Ranch is an unincorporated community of about 5,500 residents in Jefferson County. The lands adjacent to the community are managed by the Bureau of Land Management and are classified as a Wilderness Study Area (WSA).

These lands are in the highest risk category for exposure to devastating wildfire due to overstocked juniper stand under the federally mandated, and locally promulgated, Jefferson County Community Wildfire Protection Plan. The current WSA classification prevents mechanical fire prevention activities within these overstocked juniper stands.

Walden’s bill would adjust the boundaries of the WSAs to allow much-needed management of the excess fire fuels that surround Crooked River Ranch, reducing the danger of wildfire for the community who lives there.

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Contact: Committee Press Office 202-226-9019

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