Trump Solution to Forest Fires: Cut Down Pesky Trees

August 14, 2018

New Republic:

After touring several neighborhoods ravaged by the Carr Fire on Sunday, the Interior secretary said large, healthy trees must be removed from national forests to prevent the spread of wildfire flames. “It doesn’t matter whether you believe or don’t believe in climate change,” Zinke said. “What is important is we manage our forests.” Zinke also blamed environmental groups for the state’s devastating wildfire season, saying their opposition to industrial logging operations has worsened the tree problem.

This is not a new argument, and it’s a hotly contested one. While America’s forests are overgrown—thus providing more fuel for flames to quickly spread—dead trees and underbrush are considered greater problems. California’s forests have more than 100 million dead trees. The U.S. Forest Service is supposed to help manage this, but historically has had to spend most of its $600 million budget on directly fighting fires. In March, Trump signed legislation to give the Forest Service an additional $2 billion to manage forests, but it doesn’t go into effect until 2020.


Last week, President Donald Trump blamed California’s wildfires on a lack of available water for firefighters. Firefighters and fire experts roundly agreed that there’s plenty of water to fight the 100+ blazes raging across the state; some pointed out that water isn’t even the main tool used to tame wildfires. This argument, like Zinke’s, is being made to advance a policy agenda. Trump has also long wanted to weaken environmental protections for endangered species, and is already using his water argument to do it. The administration is also considering loosening regulations that require the logging industry to protect the environment while cutting down trees.

The Hill:

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said climate change had “nothing to do” with California’s wildfires, as he visited neighborhoods hard hit by the massive Carr Fire over the weekend.

“I’ve heard the climate change argument back and forth. This has nothing to do with climate change. This has to do with active forest management,” Zinke told Sacramento station KCRA.

It’s a tone the Interior secretary struck throughout his visit to Redwood, Calif., where, alongside Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, he met with local officials and fire crews battling the wildfire.

Zinke echoed President Trump in his assertion that active forest management – including logging – is the key to stopping the forest fires.



6 Responses to “Trump Solution to Forest Fires: Cut Down Pesky Trees”

  1. It’s simple (and so are they). If you get rid of forests, you don’t have to manage them. This saves taxpayers dollars and puts more money into the pockets of god-fearing, hard-working American families.

    • dumboldguy Says:

      It’s simply stupid, and if it weren’t also the work of evil and corrupt minds, it would even be laughable. Cut down healthy trees when dead trees and dried out ground cover are the real problem? LOL That’s like executing the smartest and most effective member of the Trump administration (if such a critter exists) but leaving the “dead wood” in place.

      We need to send Ztinkey out the same door Pruitt used when he left—-soon!

  2. Frank Sterle Says:

    “It’s harder to rally people around a threat to humanity than one that endangers their own backyard.” I spotted this profound yet disturbing truism, albeit perhaps logically Darwinian, in an essay (titled “Crossing Lines”) in the July/August issue of The Walrus.
    It highlights the apparently prevailing penny-wise-pound-foolish widespread human mentality when it comes to the serious manmade pollution, though immediately free from our societal view, that’s toxifying our life-sustaining natural environment and worsening an already dire global warming reality.
    Perhaps it helps explain the increase in per capita automobile ownership (including SUVs) in Canada last year, compared to 2016, especially in B.C.; it’s something that UBC’s Sauder School of Business economist Werner Antweiler describes as “a disconcerting picture”, considering serious global greenhouse gas concerns. “The number of vehicles has grown faster than the number of people in the country.”
    I often wonder whether that unfortunate aspect of our general nature that permits us our tunnel vision regarding environmental degradation, will be our eventual undoing?
    Maybe due to (Spaceship) Earth’s large size, there seems to be a general oblivious mentality as though even the largest contamination event can somehow be safely absorbed into the environment—air, sea, and land.
    For example, it’s largely believed that when released into gritty B.C. coastal waters, diluted bitumen (dilbit) will likely sink to the bottom, as with the 2010 Michigan spill in which dilbit is still being scraped off of the Kalamazoo River floor.
    I wonder, could that sinking characteristic perhaps appeal to some people who are usually apathetic towards the natural environment deep below the water surface: i.e. it will no longer be an eyesore after it sinks—i.e. out of sight, out of mind?
    Indeed, it’s safe to assume that, had the (August 4, 2014) Mount Polley copper and gold mine massive tailings pond release of a slurry of years’ worth of waste into Polley Lake—yet for which there were no B.C.-environmental-law charges laid against Imperial Metals regardless of its clear recklessness—been located in plain sight just off of, say, Stanley Park instead of in a region of natural wilderness, it would not have received the relatively minute mainstream news-media coverage it has to date.
    Apparently it’s the nature of our beast; although, just because some human behaviour is common or ‘normal’, doesn’t necessarily make it moral or ethical.
    It may be the same mentality that allows the immense amount of plastic waste, such as disposable straws, to eventually find its way into our life-filled oceans, where there are few, if any, caring souls to see it.
    Could it be the same mentality that, when asked by a Global news reporter (a few months back) what he thought of government restrictions on disposable plastic straws, compelled a young male Vancouverite wearing sunglasses to retort, “It’s like we’re living in a nanny state, always telling me what I can’t do.”
    Astonished by his utter shortsightedness, I recall wondering whether he was the same sort of individual who had a sufficiently grand sense of material entitlement—a.k.a. the “Don’t tell me what I can’t waste or do, dude!” attitude—to permit himself to now deliberately dump a whole box of unused straws into the Georgia Strait, just to stick it to the authorities who’d dare tell him that enough is enough with our gratuitous massive dumps of plastics into our oceans (which are of course unable to defend themselves against such guys seemingly asserting self-granted sovereignty over the natural environment), so he could figuratively middle-finger any new government rules with a closing, ‘There! How d’ya like that, pal?!”
    And, of course, the condition is allowed to fester via a mainstream news-media, being socially liberal and/or economically libertarian, that seems to not have a problem with such childish oh-well perspectives; the same narrow-mindedness that often makes me question whether we really have plausible hope in turning around our recklessness in time?
    After all, why worry about such things immediately unseen, regardless of their most immense importance, especially when there are various undesirable politicians and significant social issues over which to dispute—distractions our mainstream media seem only too willing to provide us?
    Besides, what back and brain busting, home-mortgaged labourer sustains the energy to worry about such things immediately unseen, regardless of their most immense importance?
    I see it somewhat analogous to a cafeteria lineup consisting of diversely societally represented people, all adamantly arguing over which identifiable traditionally marginalized person should be at the front and, conversely, at the back of the line; and, furthermore, to whom amongst them should go the last piece of quality pie—all the while the interstellar spaceship on which they’re all permanently confined is burning and toxifying at locations rarely investigated.
    As a species, we really can be so heavily preoccupied with our own individual admittedly overwhelming little worlds, that we’ll miss the biggest of pictures.

  3. dumboldguy Says:

    Well said, especially your closing paragraph. Forget who said it, but this brings to mind the question “What have future generations ever done for us?”

  4. Sir Charles Says:

    Trump’s strategy against wildfires

    • dumboldguy Says:

      He’s not peeing on the fires, he is PISSING all over science, scientists, and the concept of FACTS MATTER. (To say nothing of the country and all it stands for—ITMFA!)

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