Senator Steve Daines Works to Mitigate the Future of Drought on Montana
Despite more recent weather activity in western Montana, U.S. Senator Steve Daines worked the floor today in Washington to ensure the state be prepared to respond to potential drought conditions and wildfire activity.
"We still face below average snowpacks. We've seen some much welcome rainstorms over the past few weeks, but they're not going to replace the summer snowpack runoff which normally occurs," Daines said. "In fact, recent news reports including the Flathead river basin showing that we're at 55 percent of normal snow levels...The Kootenai river basin reporting 16 percent of normal levels."
Daines advocated for "active" and "responsible" forest management in the Energy and Natural Resources hearing and emphasized the "importance of proper management of Montana's forests" as the state continues to face potential drought.
"Montana has over seven million federal acres that are at high or very high risk of wildfire, most of which are managed by the forest service. That's approximately one in four federally controlled acres in my home state of Montana," Daines said. "Nearly two million of these forested acres are most in need of some kind of treatment because they're near populated communities or critical watersheds."
Daines also expressed his concerns about the current pace of treatment of federal lands at risk for wildfires, and confirmed that active management enhances forest health and protects western water supply.