What’s even more devastating is that they were very likely preventable, if only the Golden State wasn’t governed by Left-wing Democrats who believe in human-caused “climate change” as though it were their religion.
Last week, POTUS Donald Trump angered many California residents including its outgoing governor, Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown, when he suggested that the state’s flat-out refusal to better manage its vast forest lands contributed to the creation of the current raging infernos if not causing them outright.
During his recent trip to France, the president said “there is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor.” Naturally the Left lambasted the president as an ignorant and ill-informed doofus because that’s their default claim for everything the president says.
But he just happens to be right, and more people are coming out and saying so.
One of them is the current secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke. In an interview Sunday with Breitbart News Radio’s Amanda House, he said that years of forest mismanagement are a big reason why the fires currently burning started in the first place.
“Forests need active management,” he told House. “The amount of fuel in the forest is at historic highs.”
As for POTUS Trump, he “is absolutely right,” Zinke continued. “This is as much about mismanagement over time.” He not only pointed a finger at the previous Obama administration, he said the problem has been “going on for years.”
To fix the problem he has suggested going “back to prescribed burns late in the season” that would remove dead or dying timber and keep undergrowth thinned. He pointed to Germany and Finland as good examples to follow.
In addition to California Democrats, Left-wing “radical environmentalists” are also responsible for allowing “nature to take its course” by filing one lawsuit after another to prevent any management of forest land.
“I will lay this on the foot of those environmental radicals that have prevented us from managing the forests for years and, you know what, this is on them,” he said. (Related: Global Warming “science” discovered to be founded on glaring math error that renders thousands of news reports false.)
Even the far-Left San Francisco Chronicle agreed with that assessment. Noting that POTUS’ claim “rings true to a degree,” the paper cited a February report from California’s Little Hoover Commission charged with investigating fire danger in the state.
“A century of mismanaging Sierra Nevada forests has brought an unprecedented environmental catastrophe that impacts all Californians,” the opening line of the 82-page report states.
“The immediate crisis is visible to anyone who has traveled recently in the Sierra Nevada, especially in its southern range where mountainsides are brown with dying and dead forests,” Commission Chairman Pedro Nava wrote in a cover letter for the report, titled, “Fire on the Mountain.”
The commission went on to claim that a beetle infestation killed 129 million trees over the course of years, and that, thanks to regulatory burdens, oftentimes management efforts were hampered on the state and local level. For instance, “plans for prescribed burning to rid the forests of dense ground cover often clash with regional air quality regulations, even as emissions from catastrophic wildfires nullify hard-fought carbon reduction accomplishments,” the report notes.
What’s more, the federal government owns 60 percent of the forested land in the Golden State, which seems to put the ball back in the Trump administration’s court in terms of who is most to blame.
But as Zinke noted, even on the federal level, forest management officials have been unable to adequately do their jobs because of the tsunami of lawsuits filed by every imaginable environmental wacko group.
“It took us 100 years to get here…but hopefully it won’t take us 100 years to make it better, either,” Nava told the Chronicle.
We’ll see. After all, it’s California.
Read more about the Left’s dangerous environmental policies at Environ.news.