Mark's Newsletter Update: Natural Disaster in Colorado's Forests Needs Action
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Dear Fellow Coloradan,
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Let the U.S. Forest Service know that the crisis in Colorado's forests needs to be a national priority.
At my urging, the U.S. Forest Service successfully reprogrammed $40 million in Fiscal Year 2010 to go toward beetle-killed forests, but those funds were just a drop in the bucket compared to the scale of the problem. That’s why last October I led a bipartisan group of Western senators in asking the administration to re-direct an additional $49 million in un-spent money to help address bark beetle-killed forests. Our request has, as yet, gone unfulfilled.
So last week, I sent a letter to U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell urging him to do a full accounting of available Forest Service funds for both fire suppression and those that may be reprogrammed for bark-beetle mitigation efforts. I’m hopeful that the U.S. Forest Service will act on my request and that others in Washington will heed the emergency in Western forests. But my letter will carry much more weight with thousands of signatures from Coloradans who are understandably frustrated at the slow progress in addressing this crisis.
Sign my letter to U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell and let him know that Coloradans need action.
Beyond protecting our homes and watersheds, taking action now makes fiscal sense, because fighting a fire could ultimately be much more expensive than preventing one.
We can't afford further delay. We need action now.