The wildfires of 2017 were monumental in their expanse, severity and cost to suppress- and the damage doesn't always end when the fire is put out. Loss of vegetation and fire-induced water repellent soils can trigger increased runoff which causes erosion, flooding or debris flows many miles downstream of the fire. This presentation will provide an overview of the effects of wildfires on natural resources and describe the post-fire emergency response (BAER) program implemented by the Forest Service and other federal land management agencies. Typical emergency response actions and treatment examples will be described along with examples of longer-term post fire remediation needs and costs.
Penny Luehring is the Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) Program Leader for the USDA, Forest Service. She has worked for the Forest Service since 1977 as a soil scientist and watershed specialist in Wyoming, New Mexico and Arizona. She has been in her current position since 2010, starting just in time to experience several record-breaking fire years. Although she is a headquarters employee, Penny's desk is conveniently located well outside the Beltway in Albuquerque, NM.
The presentation will be a lively “inside the Beltway” perspective on the environmental agenda of the Trump Administration and Congress. It will explain the current political climate and what it means to the attendee, their business and their bottom line. The session will help the attendees to better understand not only what is happening in Washington and why, but also how they can influence the process to ensure that their voice is heard in the halls of power.Andy Wright is an attorney with more than 30 years experience in Washington, DC as a senior congressional staffer, association executive and lobbyist. He is President of Wright Strategies, a government relations firm that provides it clients with cutting-edge government relations, advocacy, policy development and analysis and strategic consulting support. Prior to opening Wright Strategies Wright was a Shareholder with Polsinelli, a national law firm. He was Managing Principal for Dutko Grayling, a multidisciplinary, global government affairs and public relations company. Andy twice served as Chief of Staff and Senior Legislative Counsel to former Congressman Rick Boucher (VA). He was also Chief of Staff to Congressman Brad Sherman (CA), a senior Member of the House Financial Services and Foreign Affairs Committees. Andy received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Virginia School of Law and is a graduate of Emory and Henry and Lees-McRae Colleges. He is an active member of the Virginia State Bar.