Southern Oregon is suffering from the worst air quality in the nation. Oregon Department of Environmental Quality’s air monitoring stations have recorded air quality measurements ranging from “very unhealthy” to “hazardous.” The situation has deteriorated to the point that officials are suggesting small children and pregnant women consider leaving the area.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
About a dozen fires are funneling smoke into area valleys, burning on forests with heavy fuels. Many of these fuels are dead and dying trees on federally-owned forests, where extreme overcrowding and stress for moisture and nutrients have contributed to dangerous conditions. We’ve long argued these public lands need preventative, science-based active forest management to help influence the size and severity of wildfires. We’ve urged our elected representatives to make forest management a top priority and to give federal land agencies the tools, resources, and direction to do more logging, thinning and prescribed burning on the ground.
The federal government and our elected representatives must do better.
Please take a few moments to contact your members of Congress. Ask them what they’re doing to accelerate active forest management to stop the spread of catastrophic wildfires in the future. You can send all of them an email message by clicking here.