WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV) announced she and Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID) have led a group of six of their Senate colleagues in a bipartisan letter to Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies, respectively, requesting strong support for wildfire suppression and forest management funding.

Senator Rosen also announced that she has led twelve of her Senate colleagues in a letter to Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Jerry Moran (R-KS), Chairwoman and Ranking Member of the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Commerce, Science, Justice, and Related Agencies, respectively, requesting $6 million in funding for Regional Climate Centers (RCCs), which will provide each of the country’s six RCCs – including the Western Regional Climate Center in Reno, Nevada –  the resources they need to provide comprehensive up-to-date climate information to government agencies, farmers, water resource managers, businesses, emergency managers, and the public.

Lastly, Rosen announced that she has led six of her Senate colleagues in a letter to Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies, respectively, requesting nearly $89 million in funding to support the Bureau of Land Management (BLM)’s National Conservation Lands and cultural resources protection efforts.

“Wildfires affect a growing number of states in the West each year, and fire-fighting expenses incurred by federal land management agencies often exceed $1 billion annually. Fires pose a threat to human health, personal property, wildlife, and our public lands. In 2020, nearly 60,000 wildfires burned more than 10.3 million acres and destroyed more than 17,000 structures. The federal responsibility for wildfire suppression and management is critical to protecting lives, property, and natural resources on public lands,” wrote the Senators in their bipartisan letter requesting funding to combat wildfires. “We request that you continue to pursue robust funding for strategies and resources pertaining to wildfire management in FY2022.

“Since its authorization in 1978, the RCC program has been collecting and distributing raw climate data to meet the needs of its various partners. There are six Regional Climate Centers serving the entire country located in: Nevada, Nebraska, New York, Texas, North Carolina, and Indiana. Together, they coordinate services and products to support both national and regional priorities,” wrote the Senators in their letter requesting funding for Regional Climate Centers. “The demand for accurate climate information has skyrocketed and will only grow as we continue to grapple with the effects of climate change. Providing $6 million for RCCs will enable them to help communities develop mitigation and resiliency strategies.”

“The BLM manages the largest and most diverse body of cultural, historical, and paleontological resources of any federal land management agency. However, BLM has surveyed only about 10 percent of the lands it manages. An increase in funding for BLM’s cultural resources management account of $1.5 million over the FY2021 level will help the BLM fulfill its statutory requirements to inventory and protect important cultural and paleontological resources, as well as improve government-to-government relations with Native American Tribes,” wrote the Senators in their letter requesting funding for National Conservation Lands and cultural resources. “We also ask that you provide BLM with $67.674 million to manage the system of National Conservation Lands, which encompasses more than 37 million acres of National Monuments, National Conservation Areas (NCAs) and similar designations, as well as Wilderness and Wilderness Study Areas (WSAs).”

The full text of the letter requesting funding to combat wildfires can be found here.

The full text of the letter requesting funding for Regional Climate Centers can be found here.

The full text of the letter requesting funding for land conservation can be found here.

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