Democrats in a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing March 28 criticized the White House for proposing a roughly 15 percent cut to the U.S. Forest Service’s budget in fiscal 2020.

The proposed budget “falls short” of what’s reasonable for the agency and is insufficient to ensure forest health and prevent wildfire, Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.), said at the hearing.

The Forest Service’s 2020 budget request totals $5.7 billion, including $1.34 billion proposed for fire preparedness and $1.011 billion for fire suppression, U.S. Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen said in testimony before the subcommittee.

Of that total, the discretionary funding...