El Paso County Commissioner Sallie Clark testified before the U.S. Senate Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation, Forestry and Natural Resources in D.C. on Tuesday. Clark discussed the severe impacts of the Waldo Canyon Fire and post-fire flooding on the Westside of Colorado Springs, Manitou Springs and Ute Pass, explaining how tight budgets and short-sighted management decisions can increase the risk of wildfire.
In addition, she shared information about how unhealthy forests and too many diseased trees have contributed to disastrous wildfires throughout the United States. Clark urged Senators to enact legislation that will direct additional Federal Emergency Management Agency funding to cost effective pre-fire mitigation efforts as a means of avoiding the much higher costs of post-fire recovery.
The Waldo Canyon Fire started in District 3, which Clark represents. She is also second vice president of the National Association of Counties.
Click here to read the full transcript of Clark’s testimony: Wildfire Senate Hearing letter final 11-5-2013.