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National President Dougan: "Today's Request for an Additional $615 Million to Battle Wildfires is Much-needed."

Tuesday, July 8, 2014
 

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Washington, D.C.
– Earlier today, President Obama requested, in a larger emergency appropriations request, an addition $615 million to meet the increased costs of battling wildland fires. The following is a statement from William R. Dougan, National President of the National Federation of Federal Employees, the oldest federal employee union, representing 110,000 federal workers throughout the U.S:

“Today’s request from the White House for an additional $615 million to battle wildfires is much-needed,” Dougan said. “As a former U.S. Forest Service firefighter, I know firsthand the importance of having the agency funds for the necessary firefighting equipment, staffing and supplies. The additional $615 million will allow for more fires to be suppressed than currently possible in the U.S. Forest Service budget. This will also allow for land management agencies to go deeper into fire season without needing to use non-fire funds to pay for fire suppression as has happened too often in recent years. We cannot allow for federal land management agencies to be forced to focus on putting out budget fires at the expense of allowing wildfires to continue to rage across the country.”

“The President and lawmakers should also look to immediately pass the Land Management Workforce Flexibility Act,” Dougan said. “The passage of this bill will usher in an applicant pool of qualified and properly-trained firefighters to fill existing vacancies, and other vacancies that may become available during the course of the fire season. At no cost to the American tax payer, the Land Management Workforce Flexibility can aid the government in filling vacancies with seasoned firefighting veterans. With the potential of serious damage to communities across the country, the federal government needs as much assistance as it can get in fighting wildfires.”


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Established in 1917, the National Federation of Federal Employees is the oldest union representing civil service federal employees.  NFFE represents 110,000 federal employees in 35 departments and agencies government-wide, including the majority of federal wildland firefighters. NFFE is affiliated with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, AFL-CIO. For more information, go to www.nffe.org.

For the full release, click here.

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