Valadao joins field hearing to develop policies that help combat wildfires

U.S. Rep. David Valadao (R-CA) joined the House Natural Resources Committee on Aug. 11 for a field hearing in Yosemite National Park focused on strategies for improving forest management policies to combat wildfires that burn thousands of acres of California land each year.

“Proper forest management is key to preventing the catastrophic wildfires we’ve seen in California that have devastated people’s livelihoods, homes, and businesses,” said Rep. Valadao, a member of the U.S. House Appropriations Committee.

Rep. Valadao and Republicans on the committee said they are committed to finding solutions that will restore conservation to Yosemite and all federal lands by cutting red tape. They also want to see a reduction in frivolous litigation and to give land managers the resources they need to speed up forest management projects. 

“We need to streamline some of the burdensome regulations and bureaucratic red tape that make it difficult for our land managers to properly manage our forests and confront the threat of wildfires,” Rep. Valadao said.

The congressman also participated in a tour of Yosemite’s Mariposa Grove, one of three groves in Yosemite where ancient giant sequoias are located. In the last few years, catastrophic wildfires have decimated nearly one-fifth of the world’s giant sequoias. In addition, lawmakers learned about forest management priorities and actions to prevent wildfires from the National Park Service.

Last year, U.S. Forest Service researchers estimated 36.3 million trees died in California in 2022 alone, a 282 percent increase from the year prior, the congressman’s office noted. 

“Thank you to House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Bruce Westerman and Western Caucus Chairman Dan Newhouse for bringing members from across the country to California to learn about some of these challenges firsthand,” Rep. Valadao said.

In April, the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Wildlife and Fisheries held a field hearing in Tulare, Calif., on Rep. Valadao’s legislation, H.R. 215, the Working to Advance Tangible and Effective Reforms (WATER) for California Act.