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It states that “reducing vegetation through hazardous fuel management and strategic forest health treatments is effective in reducing wildfire severity and loss.”
Then it goes on to state that “[actions must be taken across landscapes to prioritize treatments in order to enhance fuel reduction and forest-restoration projects that protect life and property, and to benefit rural economies through encouraging utilization of the by-products of forest restoration.”
It then directs the Secretaries to “give all due consideration to establishing the following objectives for 2019, as feasible and appropriate” and then directs the agencies to offer millions of board feet of timber for sale in 2019.
Moreover, according to The Post, these agencies have given their permission for logging on federal lands to continue during the shutdown — something that was not allowed during the prior long lasting shutdowns in 2013 and 1995. Apparently, these agencies are even considering calling furloughed workers from these agencies back to conduct timber sales, but not to do the kind of land management that would actually prevent fires.
Why This Matters:Experts say that the timber sales directed by the President are unlikely to reduce fire risk since there is so much land at risk of fire due to climate change. The Post explained that “fires have increased fivefold since the 1970s as temperatures have risen and snowpack has shrunk. Just 2 percent of lands treated by the Forest Service between 2004 and 2013 experienced a wildfire.” In short, fire experts say we cannot “groom” our way out of our fire problems – the forces of climate change are too great. So the only winners will be the timber companies who get to harvest more timber, even as the government’s effective fire prevention efforts remain halted by the government shutdown.
by Ashira Morris From fishery management to forest protection, the environmentalist vs. industry frame is often a roadblock to sustainable practices. But it doesn’t have to be that way. In Canada, environmentalists, logging companies, and First Nations people came together to create a management plan for the Great Bear Rainforest. This stretch of the British […]
If you’ve ever noticed that there’s something off about the timing and duration of fall foliage where you live–you’re not imagining things! As with many ecological processes, human activity is shifting the arrival of our seasons through what’s described as “season creep.“ As the Washington Post wrote this past weekend: “Human activities transform not just […]
Back in January, President Trump said the U.S. would join the World Economic Forum’s “Trillion Trees” Initiative — but in the 9 months since then we have heard little of it. Today, the President signed an Executive Order saying that “given the expansive footprint of our Federal forests and woodlands, this order initiates the formation […]
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