The Oregon Logging Conference urges Mark Rey, Undersecretary of the Department of Agriculture, and the United States Congress to expedite the upgrading and replacement of the aging wildfire aerial attack fleet.

WHEREAS, the forestlands of Oregon and other western states are in jeopardy of destruction from catastrophic wildfire.

WHEREAS, a rapid and timely response to wild-land forest fires is critical to effective control and suppression, and minimize suppression cost and resource loss.

WHEREAS, rapid initial response by aerial attack aircraft has been and will continue to be a major factor in controlling and suppressing wild-land forest fires.

WHEREAS, efficient and effective initial attack response to wild-land forest fires additionally provides safety to firefighters, residents of the urban interface, and the general public.

WHEREAS, the current fleet of aircraft used by the Department of Agriculture for wildfire suppression is aging and currently limited in numbers, resulting in the delay of fire suppression efforts and placing our nations forests and firefighters at risk.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, members of the Oregon Logging Conference request that Congress and the Department of Agriculture develop a replacement strategy for the current aging wild-land fire aerial attack fleet. This strategy and implementation should occur before the 2007 fire season. Other supplemental aviation resources should be funded in the interim.