Thursday Newscast, 12/17/15, 6:04 PM

Dec 17, 2015

Newscast for Thursday, December 17, 2015, 6:04 PM:

  • Legislation that has cleared Congress includes an additional $600 million to fight wildfires next year but no long-term fix on the U.S. Forest Service budget.  The Forest Service spent a record $1.7 billion fighting fires this year, and continues to borrow funds from other programs to keep up with the growing cost of fighting fires. The Obama administration wants to address the problem by treating wildfires like other types of natural disasters for funding purposes. Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska supports a long-term solution, but says that needs more review. U.S. Department of Agriculture Undersecretary Robert Bonnie calls the funding increase a Band-Aid solution that also neglects to make forests more resilient to fire.
  • The head of Colorado’s Department of Natural Resources is leaving the position at the end of January to become Denver Water’s Director of planning. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol...