Liberal California Gov. Jerry Brown has never been one to take personal responsibility. He has made a career out of blaming others for his and the failures of extreme left-wing policies.
It comes as no surprise that just one day after Pres. Donald J. Trump criticized the state for the gross forestry mismanagement linked to surging wildfires, Gov. Brown was quick to blame climate change and climate deniers.
“Managing all the forests in everywhere we can does not stop climate change. And those who deny that are definitely contributing to the tragedies that we’re now witnessing, and will continue to witness in the coming years,” Brown reportedly said. “We’re fighting nature with the amount of material we’re putting in the environment, and that material traps heat, and the heat fosters fires, and the fires keep burning.”
But it’s an inconvenient truth that Gov. Brown and his merry band of West Coast liberals have imposed radical environmental regulations that run contrary to appropriate forest management.
Pres. Trump has cited the Democrat laws designed to protect species such as the Spotted Owl that effectively ended the ability of loggers to clear-cut swaths of forests. Clear-cutting acted as a deterrent to wildfires spreading over vast areas because it cut off the fuel supply.
Under Pres. Clinton, old-growth trees were protected from logging and that effectively ended the timber industry’s ability to clear-cut in 1994. More far-left policies also ended grazing by cattle and other farmers.
“(Prior to 1994) mostly fuels were removed through logging, active management — which they stopped — and grazing,” Bob Zybach, a reforestation consultant with a Ph.D. in environmental science, reportedly said. “You take away logging, grazing, and maintenance, and you get firebombs.”
While these policies may have been well-intentioned, Democrats pushed through solutions that caused much greater problems. Now, those habitats and species they sought to protect are completely destroyed, thousands of Californians have been displaced and the death toll continues to rise.
In 2005, the Western Governors Association released a report that warned such policies would have dire consequences.
“Over time the fire-prone forests that were not thinned, burn in uncharacteristically destructive wildfires, and the resulting loss of forest carbon is much greater than would occur if the forest had been thinned before fire moved through,” the WGA reportedly stated. “In the long term, leaving forests overgrown and prone to unnaturally destructive wildfires means there will be significantly less biomass on the ground, and more greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.”
But these mostly Republican governors from cattle and farmland states were dismissed and no fact-based actions were taken to restore logging as an effective means of forest management.
But perhaps the larger problem with regards to wildfires is that the left-leaning media appears ready to come to Gov. Brown’s defense even while liberal journalists know he is dead wrong. A prime example is the New York Times that is changing its tune after they criticized the end of clear-cutting in 2012.
“The U.S. Forest Service estimates that more than 190 million acres of public land are at risk of catastrophic fires, including 60 percent our national forests. Too many trees, too much brush, and bureaucratic regulations and lawsuits filed by environmental extremists are to blame,” The New York Times stated in 2012. “Timber harvests have plunged more than 75 percent from 12 billion board feet per year to less than 4 billion board feet per year. The result: historically large ponderosa pines which grew in stands of 20 to 55 trees per acre now grow (and burn) in densities of 300 to 900 trees per acre.”
At the time the article was published, the NY Times stated that wildfire devastation escalated from 81,043 fires burning 1,329,704 acres in 1998 to 74,126 fires burning 8,711,367 acres in 2011. The NY Times attributed the incredible uptick in lost habitats to the failed policies started by Clinton and pushed further by radical liberals.
These days, the NY Times is simply trying to support any claim by any Democrat because the failed newspaper has zero interest in fact-based reporting. Rather than stand by its claims made six years ago, the NY Times trolls out a liberal writer to make an odd claim that Pres. Trump is somehow incorrect. A recent piece misleads by pointing readers to forest thinning rather than clear-cutting. Dead brush and twigs may be the root cause of a wildfire, but stopping a wildfire means cutting off its fuel supply. That fuel is trees, particularly pine trees.
“Researchers are attributing at least part of the difference to climate change because in a warming world vegetation dries out faster and burns more easily,” NY Times writer Kendra Pierre-Louis states.
The NY Times writer goes on to try and shift blame to the federal government, claiming the state of California doesn’t own much of the impacted land. Either naïve or just “dishonest,” as the president often says of the publication, the regulations apply to state and federal agencies alike.
Liberals ended the most effective tool to stop wildfires — clear cutting — and bog down anyone who tries to take precautionary measures through proper forest management. Perhaps Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said it best.
“Every year we watch our forests burn, and every year there is a call for action,” Sec. Zinke reportedly said. “Yet, when action comes, and we try to thin forests of dead and dying timber, or we try to sustainably harvest timber from dense and fire-prone areas, we are attacked with frivolous litigation from radical environmentalists who would rather see forests and communities burn than see a logger in the woods.”