He was joined by Governor Kate Brown and Chuck Sams III the director of the National Park Service.
Emhoff said, “this is not just an issue I’ve jumped into because I’m Second Gentleman or I’m here because of the administration. This is very personal to the myself and the Vice President”
The Second Gentleman said the issue of wildfires in our region is personal to him because his brother is a firefighter in Northern California.
Emhoff said that the Biden and Harris administration is committed to helping communities mitigate wildfires through political action like the bipartisan infrastructure bill.
“It was very emotional and personal to meet them and talk to them and also, coming from California where we’ve had a lot of wildfires there. I mentioned we’ve been evacuated from our home a few times,” Emhoff said.
He says he is proud of the administration for getting ahead of issues like wildfire mitigation, which is part of a larger plan to tackle climate change.
Governor Kate Brown thanked the federal administration for leading the charge on addressing climate change and for the resources they have provided the state to modernize their firefighting efforts.
Brown said, “very pleased to see the focus from this administration on both prevention and mitigation of wildfires, supporting our firefighters. Under Joe Biden’s leadership, firefighters got a pay raise and that’s incredibly important.”
Chuck Sams III, a native Oregonian and the first Native-American to be director of the National Parks Service, stressed how much the bipartisan infrastructure bill will help with fire suppression and management.
He said $1 million from that bill will go directly into Crater Lake National Park, Oregon’s only national park.
Sams said, “most importantly, we were able to talk about fire suppression. In 2015, Oregon changed so dramatically, our fire season was no longer contained from spring to late summer. It is now year round, and the devastation that Oregon has felt from these fires, it’s important to bring money on the ground.”
Sams said that showing the Second Gentleman and Governor Brown what the infrastructure bill will help protect was most important.
“The opportunity to come home to my home land and be able to show him the beauty and grandeur of crater lake, along with Governor Brown, it’s been a great day,” Sams said.
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