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Representatives McCarthy, Westerman Lead Bipartisan Congressional Delegation to Sequoia National Forest

Porterville, CA – Yesterday, Congressman Kevin McCarthy and Congressman Bruce Westerman (AK-04), Ranking Member of the Committee on Natural Resources, led a bipartisan congressional delegation to visit the Sequoia National Forest. The visit focused on the giant sequoias and groves adversely impacted by recent wildfires. Other attendees included Congressman David Valadao (CA-21), Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52), Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16), Congressman Jimmy Panetta (CA-20), and Assemblyman Vince Fong.

McCarthy released the following statement:

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“There are few things more humbling than walking among California’s Giant Sequoias, which have proudly stood for thousands of years. They are truly one of God’s great creations. But since 2017, nearly 20 percent of the entire population of these ancient trees have been lost due to wildfires. Communities and officials on the ground know how to best protect these Giant Sequoias. But policies and regulations stymie good forest management practices – exacerbated by endless litigation from environmental groups bent on stopping all work in our National Forests – that make removing dead trees and brush nearly impossible, creating a tinderbox in the Sequoia National Forest.

“In order to learn how Congress can best reform federal laws and regulations to support Giant Sequoia resiliency and recovery efforts, our bipartisan House delegation met with U.S. Forest Service officials and local stakeholders to discuss commonsense forest management reform.

“After seeing the Giant Sequoias firsthand, and understanding the damage fires have caused to our communities, it’s clear there is an urgent need to address this crisis through fire prevention and better forest management. In Congress, Republicans are working to develop conservation policies that will restore our forests, reinvigorate local economies around them, and keep our communities safe. We can’t afford to wait to address this crisis. I thank Ranking Member Westerman — a forestry expert — for his leadership on this issue, my colleagues for our shared commitment to ensure these natural wonders continue to thrive for generations to come, and all those who participated in the roundtable for their efforts to protect our Giant Sequoias.”

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