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Congress Passes Bill that Addresses Wildfire Funding Woes

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Satellite image of Orange County's Freeway Complex Fire in 2008 | The charred areas include Chino Hills State Park to the north and Cleveland National Forest to the southeast
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The Federal Land Assistance, Management and Enhancement Act (get it? The FLAME Act) passed this morning in the House of Representatives. If passed and signed by the Senate and President Barack Obama, the measure would create a reserve account that the Forest Service and Department of Interior could tap if they exhaust their firefighting budgets. This would prevent the annual practice of taking money away from other vital programs, such as watershed restoration and global warming research, and services in order to fund wildfire suppression.

“This continues to be a great week for everybody who cares about our public lands,” said William H. Meadows, president of The Wilderness Society. Yesterday, a huge land bill that would protect 700,000 acres of California land passed congress.