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Two GOP Foresters In Congress Offer Solutions To Curb America’s Wildfires

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Recently, California recorded the second-worst wildfire in state history, destroying an area larger than Los Angeles. Thousands of residents have fled to find temporary sanctuary, hoping that their homes have been saved from the catastrophe. 

It took a personnel of 5,000 brave firefighters and volunteers to battle the wildfire dubbed as the “Dixie Fire ” which also caused the destruction of about 400 structures. 

This prompted two Republicans who happen to be the only foresters in congress, to propose science-based solutions in dealing with such a disastrous occurrence. 

Rep. Bruce Westerman, a ranking member of the House Natural Resources Committee Senator and Sen. Jim Risch, a degree holder in Forestry from the University of Idaho and also a senior member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources, came together to express their concerns for the alarming increase in wildfires.

The two GOP leaders explained to the public some of their environmental initiatives in a joint opinion article on Fox News.

“We’ve introduced legislation that provides a new management concept based on cutting-edge Forest Service mapping to address firesheds. What is a fireshed? A fireshed is a landscape-scale area that faces similar wildfire threats where a fire management strategy could affect fire outcomes. In other words these are landscapes at extremely high risk of catastrophic fire,” Westerman and Risch explained.

“We need forest management that uses proven science to identify high-risk areas, clear hazardous brush, thin dead and decaying trees, and provide healthy space for remaining trees to grow far enough apart to prevent fires from climbing into the canopy and spreading from tree to tree at an uncontrollable rate,” they said.

Westerman and Risch also stated that “it is unacceptable to allow the fire season to become a year-round risk when we have tools at our disposal to reduce and prevent fires.” They also believe that “blaming climate change for the fires and then refusing to implement any kind of on-the-ground solution is tantamount to fiddling while Rome burns.”

“Here in Congress, we can facilitate responsible forest management by simplifying and expediting environmental analyses, cutting bureaucratic red tape and frivolous litigation, giving land managers essential management resources, accelerating reviews for reforestation activities and much more.”

Utilizing their rich knowledge and experience in forestry and America’s valuable natural resources, Westerman and Risch reminded the government that saving our precious forests should be taken with urgency, and therefore, must not be delayed any further.

“We are drawing on our first hand experience to put comprehensive, science-based solutions forward to an issue endangering millions of Americans. Our forests are burning, and there’s no time to waste,” they concluded.

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