Thomas Straka believes that if not for radical environmentalists filing frivolous lawsuits and holding forest management hostage through tactics that refuse firebreaks, refuse timber harvesting, and refuse grazing, the catastrophic fires would not happen. Both Trump and Sec. Zinke are simply responding to science-based reports that confirm the need for active forest management. While regulations like the National Environmental Policy Act are important, liberals have abused them.
- Would environmentalist rather “see communities burn than see a logger in the forest?”
- Is the biggest cause of the recent wildfires poor forest management?
- Are liberals abusing environmental regulations?
On the wildfires in California, President Trump tweeted: “There is no reason for these massive, deadly and expensive forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor,” and three months ago, Secretary Zinke identified the same cause for western wildfires: “This is about active forest management.”
As a forester, I have to say that they both point to the main culprit. I spend a lot of my time in the West with foresters from the West Coast and one of them regularly points to a forest managed by the federal government as a catastrophe awaiting.
Before you say that this is only a forester saying that federal land needs more forestry, several independent government reports have reached the same end.
The Little Hoover Commission of California is an independent state supervisory agency responsible for reporting and advising the Governor and the Legislature and, last February, issued a report on the rethinking of forest management in the Sierra Nevada in relation to wildfires, concluding:
A century of mismanaging Sierra Nevada forests has brought an unprecedented environmental catastrophe that impacts all Californians – and with it, a rare opportunity for transformational culture change in forest management practices. The opportunity should not be lost. Proactive forest management practices recommended by the Commission gradually will rebuild healthy high-county forest that store more water, resist new insect infestations, and check the speed and intensity of wildfires.