January 16, 2019

Representative Levin Helps Pass Legislation to Increase Federal Funding for California Wildfire Recovery and Prevention

Washington, D.C. – Today, Representative Mike Levin (D-CA) helped pass the Disaster Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2019, a comprehensive emergency disaster bill that would increase federal funding for California wildfire recovery and prevention. The disaster package provides $12.4 billion in emergency spending nationwide to help meet the urgent needs of American communities recovering from recent wildfires and other natural disasters.

“While President Trump has threatened to ransack federal funding for California’s wildfire recovery efforts and suggested more rakes would solve the problem, I was proud to help pass bipartisan legislation that will actually provide relief for Californians devastated by recent fires,” said Representative Levin. “We are seeing a higher frequency of intense natural disasters, and it is paramount that our prevention and recovery efforts meet the growing need. I look forward to working with my colleagues on the bold policies we must pursue to address the underlying cause of these disasters: climate change.”

The legislation includes key measures to help California including:

  • Increased funding for hazardous fuels management activities to improve the resiliency of federal forests, protect again catastrophic wildfires, and reduce the amount of damage caused by wildfires.
  • Increased funding for USFS State and Private Forestry account, with the goals of helping state and private forest managers recover from the catastrophic fires of 2018 and helping these land managers prepare for the next fire season.
  • $480 million – more than double the sum included in the December 2018 GOP bill – to help owners of private forests restore disaster-damaged lands.
  • $50 million for the Historic Preservation Fund and $78 million for Construction to repair historic sites and other park assets damaged by wildfires and other disasters.
  • $720 million to repay non-fire accounts for FY 2018 wildland fire activities and $103 million for Forest Inventory Analysis, State and Private Forestry, the National Forest System, and Capital Improvement and Maintenance.
  • Emergency assistance funding to agricultural producers who suffered losses from wildfires and other disaster related losses in 2018.
  • Clarification that winegrape growers whose crops were tainted by smoke from a 2018 wildfire are eligible for assistance under this Act even if the damage is discovered after the grapes have been removed from the vine.