Representative Greg Walden calls for reform on 2018 Farm Bill

MEDFORD, Ore. — Representative Greg Walden visited Medford today to share the reforms he hopes the Senate will pass for the 2018 Farm Bill.

The Farm bill has already been passed in the House and is now in the Senate for negotiations.

Some of the reforms Rep. Walden is calling for include expanding the amount of land the Bureau of Land Management and Forest Services have authority for. He also is pushing for a way to restore wildlife in a timely manner after a fire has burned through.

“Years of poor management or lack of management have resulted in overgrown, over stocked forests that are often way beyond the fuel loads that would normally and naturally be there.” Rep. Walden said.

But he’s not the only one pushing for forest management reform, Oregon Senators are also getting involved.

Senator Jeff Merkley said on Thursday, that he was working towards increasing funding for the farm bill.

Rep. Walden said that if these reforms became law, they would reduce the fires by up to 70 percent.

“We shouldn’t have this, we need to fix this not only for now but for the next generation and be able to get in and do the work across the forest at least that are long over due,” Rep. Walden said.

Congress will be negotiating the provisions in the coming weeks.

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Blakely McHugh is co-anchor of NBC5 News at Sunrise and spokesperson for In This Together, a suicide prevention initiative. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Blakely is a native of San Diego, CA. Blakely is excited to be in southern Oregon, a place that gets all the seasons and has similar temperatures to Arizona in the summer! When she’s not at work, you can find her relaxing at home watching TV and cuddling with her cat, Dallas. She also enjoys trying new places to eat and exploring the outdoors. Blakely loves meeting new people so if you see her out and about, say “hi!”
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