States Get Dollars & Wildfires Keep Burning
The number and severity of wildfires across the west has increased. Many areas have been evacuated and dozens of homes have been destroyed. President Barack Obama says wildfires in the western U.S. are getting worse in large part due to climate change. He says he's trying to work with Congress to properly fund firefighting and conservation planning to decrease risks.
USDA is going to invest $20 million to partner with 15 state agencies to improve and increase wildlife habitat and public access for recreational opportunities on privately-owned and operated farm, ranch and forest lands. The projects are being funded under the Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program. Both Oregon and Washington states are receiving funds. Sara Magenheimer with Oregon's NRCS talks about the funding.
MAGENHEIMER: A big part of it is extending the public access and recreation opportunities for the public on private lands. The Department of Fish and Wildlife here in Oregon would utilize those funds to work with private landowners increasing public access for improving habitat and subsequently the recreational activities that went with that whether it's fishing, trapping, wildlife viewing, photography.
Many of the private owners are farmers or ranchers.
That's today's Northwest Report. I'm Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network of the West.