Two reasons to hope western wildfires can be tamed

By the Editorial Board
The News Tribune
November 4, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Critics accuse the Trump administration of trying to muzzle climate-related dialogue at the International Fire Congress later this month; indeed, no U.S. climate change researcher has been permitted to talk at the annual meeting on wildfire suppression. A Forest Service scientist was scheduled to speak but was denied approval last week. And yet there’s no denying climate change is lengthening wildfire season in western states, especially in places like rain-deprived Eastern Washington, where millions of acres of densely packed forests have turned to kindling. On the heels of another historic wildfire season, two new blueprints for fire prevention give us hope. The first is the state’s 20-year forest health strategic plan introduced last week by Washington Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz. The second is a piece of bipartisan, three-state legislation co-sponsored by U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell.

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