Remember when Donald Trump tweeted about how California’s restrictive logging laws were making historic wildfires worse?
Remember the whirlwind of hatred he reaped from the press?
This was the tweet from early August that got everyone hot and bothered (pun unintended):
California wildfires are being magnified & made so much worse by the bad environmental laws which aren’t allowing massive amounts of readily available water to be properly utilized. It is being diverted into the Pacific Ocean. Must also tree clear to stop fire from spreading!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 6, 2018
Well, say what you will about his quote about water, which Trump critics countless column inches and hours of airtime on; they also spent countless column inches on his comments regarding California’s environmental restrictions on logging.
“The timber industry has argued that ‘thinning’ forests — removing certain trees to improve the health of the remaining ones and diminish the plants and underbrush that fuel fires — reduces the risk of wildfires,” Times climate reporter Lisa Friedman wrote.
“Republicans in Congress have sought to loosen environmental restrictions to allow more thinning. Democrats and environmentalists argue the practice will open the door to expanded commercial logging and threaten wildlife.
“California already has policies in place to address wildfire risk,” Friedman noted, adding that “(s)cientists noted that Mr. Trump’s statement didn’t address the role climate change has played in creating a hotter and drier fire season.”
So, about those policies in place to address wildfire risk. It seems they weren’t quite cutting it, and now cutting might be the solution.
“Faced with the worst summer fire season in 10 years, Gov. Jerry Brown is proposing broad new changes to California’s logging rules that would allow landowners to cut larger trees and build temporary roads without obtaining a permit as a way to thin more forests across the state,” the San Jose Mercury News reported on Thursday.
“The proposal — which has the support of the timber industry but is being opposed by more than a dozen environmental groups — would represent one of the most significant changes to the state’s timber harvesting rules in the past 45 years.”
Under Gov. Moonbeam’s latest proposal, according to the Mercurty News, if you’re a private landowner, the government would now allow you “to cut trees up to 36 inches in diameter — up from the current 26 inches — on property of 300 acres or less without getting a timber harvest permit from the state, as long as (the) purpose was to thin forests to reduce fire risk.”
Environmentalists say that the new proposal would allow loggers to cut coastal redwoods.
“We acknowledge there is a problem,” Kim Delfino, California program director for Defenders of Wildlife, told the Mercury News. “The idea of trying to get a handle on it is a good thing. But this is an over reach. You don’t need to be putting such large trees on the chopping block.”
Look, I don’t particularly know exactly who wants to harvest coastal redwoods on their property to make a buck here, since I’m not an expert on redwoods. What I do know is a) how legislation works and b) that large trees can burn, too.
Oh, and I also know that c) Donald Trump was right. Even the program director for Defenders of Wildlife “acknowledge(s) there is a problem,” something even The New York Times — not an environmentalist group, last I checked — didn’t seem to think.
Maybe that water part wasn’t the greatest thing in the world. I don’t know. When it comes to logging and fire prevention policy, however, even an environmentalist group now admits California’s got some issues in that department — and even none other than Jerry Brown is following Trump’s lead.
When that happens, you know things are screwed up. But then, doesn’t this always happen when leftists follow their own dogma until they realize the ruin it causes them?
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