"Prescribed burns, especially done in conjunction with mechanical treatments, proved their value as a proactive tool in controlling wildfires in Montana this summer."
"The Cottonwood decision from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in 2015 emphasizes how litigious groups have weaponized the Endangered Species Act to prevent forest management projects."
"Even when public land managers, officials and researchers agree that this mitigation work is needed on a landscape, the tools that reduce wildfire severity face a long, bureaucratic process of approvals and delays."
"As we approach fire season we should reject calls to abandon the science and instead double down on the best tools currently at our disposal — expanding active forest management to address our yearly wildfire crisis."
"Policymakers must ask whether the minuscule risk of an escaped prescribed burn is worth doing nothing, allowing fuels to build up and putting the forest at a higher risk of an all-consuming destructive wildfire."
"Protecting old-growth forests from wildfire risks is a worthy cause, but simply spending more money on existing bureaucratic processes will not solve the problem."
"The focus on active restoration instead of strict preservation will go a long way to confront the wildfire crisis, but only if red tape and regulatory challenges don’t interfere."
There’s no way around it: you simply cannot claim to support addressing climate change on the one hand while opposing proven and practical forest management to help reduce the risk of massive forest fires on the other.
Forest managers face a daunting restoration backlog that fuels the wildfire crisis.
Money alone will not solve the problem if lawsuits continue to hold up on-the-ground projects. Reforming litigation will improve the ability to effectively put resources to work in our forests.