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Bipartisan Group Urges Immediate Action to Save Our Sequoias


WASHINGTON, D.C., July 19, 2022 -

Today, House Committee on Natural Resources Ranking Member Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) joined Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and U.S. Reps. Scott Peters (D-Calif.), Jim Costa (D-Calif.), David Valadao (R-Calif.), Jimmy Panetta (D-Calif.) and Tom McClintock (R-Calif.) in sending a letter to Chair Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), urging immediate action on the Save Our Sequoias Act in light of the Washburn Fire. In part, the members wrote:

"We need to make sure that the pace and scale of hazardous fuels reduction treatments is accelerated across all the Giant Sequoia groves. Since the Washburn Fire began, firefighters have been using emergency authorities to clear hazardous fuels in and around the groves and take urgent action to protect Giant Sequoias. But we cannot just manage our Giant Sequoias when the sky is red with smoke and flames; we must proactively treat these groves before fires ignite. The SOS Act would allow land managers to proactively use the same emergency authorities that are being deployed right now to protect Giant Sequoias from fire and prevent high-intensity fires from occurring in the first place. In the past two years, catastrophic wildfires have killed up to one-fifth of the world’s Giant Sequoias. The intensity and frequency of these wildfires are being exacerbated by worsening drought conditions and extreme heat, and the wildfires themselves are making things worse by increasing global emissions. If we do not take urgent action now, we could lose this entire species in the next 25 years.

"We do not have a moment to waste and can no longer wait until the fire starts to take action. Therefore, we are requesting that the Committee on Natural Resources immediately hold a hearing and markup on the SOS Act. Failing to act while our Giant Sequoias remain under threat is not an acceptable option. We must act now so we are not the generation that kills these 3,000-year-old trees."

Read the full letter here

Contact: Committee Press Office 202-225-2761

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