Editorial: Federal forest policy is broken

The Bend Bulletin
October 27, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., recently zeroed in on some common sense in wildfire prevention and forest health. He pointed out in a Senate committee this week that thinning and prescription burns are good for both. “The only thing that stops us from adopting this strategy, which produces saw logs, makes the forest healthier, makes it fire resistant, is funding,” he said. “Why not concentrate on getting the funding to do these things?” He’s right, but if it was that simple it would get done. …Congress has known for years that the way wildfires are funded drains the money away from preventing fires. It’s called fire borrowing. The costs of fighting wildfires blows right through the wildfire budget and then money that could have been spent on fire prevention is consumed by wildfire costs.

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