February 08, 2021

In Wake of Devastating Wildfire Season, Congressman Neguse to Host Public Listening Session to Solicit Feedback For Wildfire Mitigation and Recovery Efforts

Governor Jared Polis, Senator Michael Bennet, and Senator John Hickenlooper to participate in panel discussion and wildfire listening session 

Lafayette, CO— In the wake of a devastating wildfire season in Colorado’s 2nd District and across Colorado, Congressman Joe Neguse plans to hold a public wildfire recovery listening session to hear from Coloradans who have been impacted. 

The session will feature a panel discussion with Governor Jared Polis, Senator Michael Bennet, Senator John Hickenlooper and Congressman Neguse and will provide an open forum for Coloradans to share their feedback, challenges and experiences in the wake of these deadly fires. 

Three of the state’s five largest wildfires occurred in 2020, two of which impacted the 2nd Congressional District, which Congressman Neguse represents. 

“As our district and our state experienced multiple record-breaking wildfires this season, we’ve worked closely with firefighters and emergency management officials on the ground to bring in needed federal resources and problem solve where we could,” said Congressman Neguse. “After conversations with our local officials, we introduced the Wildfire Recovery Act to assist our local communities in their recovery efforts. Hearing from constituents has been invaluable as we work to craft legislative solutions and address future fires of this scale. We hope this wildfire listening session will contribute to future legislative proposals, and identify issues we can work on through the Bipartisan Wildfire Caucus. We will utilize every mechanism at our disposal to provide needed resources to protect our communities from catastrophic fires.” 

WHO: 

Congressman Joe Neguse 

Governor Jared Polis 

Senator Michael Bennet 

Senator John Hickenlooper

Coloradans

WHEN: 

Thursday February 18, 2021

12:00 p.m. MT to 1:00 p.m. MT

WHERE: 

Coloradans can register to attend the virtual listening session by visiting Neguse2021.com 

Background

As Colorado experienced a devastating and relentless wildfire season in 2020, Congressman Neguse has worked in close coordination with local firefighters and emergency management officials to ensure that communities in the 2nd Congressional District have the federal funds they need to contain these fires and recover. Congressman Neguse helped secure FEMA funds for containment efforts of the CalWood, East Troublesome and Cameron Peak Fires and he introduced the Wildfire Recovery Act, legislation to increase the federal cost-share on Fire Management Assistance Grants (FMAG) to bring in more federal resources to local communities. Recently, Congressman Neguse helped secure a disaster declaration designation for Colorado’s wildfires to bring in more resources for the state, already the Small Business Administration has announced support for businesses in Grand and Larimer County due to the designation

Congressman Neguse has also advocated for better pay, benefits and safety measures to support Colorado firefighters. In April 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic intensified, Congressman Neguse was successful in ensuring firefighters and first responders be given priority for COVID-19 tests. Congressman Neguse has also announced plans to launch a bipartisan wildfire caucus to focus on wildfire mitigation and resiliency efforts in Congress. 

Last summer, Congressman Neguse introduced the 21st Century Conservation Corps for our Health and Our Jobs Act in the House, alongside Senator Ron Wyden, which would make major investments in wildfire resiliency and mitigation efforts, as well as major investments in conservation and forest restoration. The pair also sent a letter to House and Senate leadership requesting that funds for wildfire relief and many of the programs outlined in this bill, be included in the next comprehensive COVID-19 stimulus package. 

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