USDA official: Fire science conference limits based on budget, not topic

By Rob Chaney
The Missoulian
November 11, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Department of Agriculture officials say a decision to limit the number of federal scientists attending a major fire conference was an exercise in good management, not information control. “What it really comes down to is the agency managers at the research-station level are using critical thinking skills about who are the best people to send to these conferences,” USDA spokesman Mike Illenberg said.  …Association for Fire Ecology President and University of Idaho professor Leda Kobziar wrote Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke and Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue that more than 100 USDA and DOI scientists and managers weren’t approved for attending the conference. …“As taxpayers, our members share the goal of avoiding wasteful government spending, but restricting fire managers and scientists from meeting at conferences is a case of being penny-wise, pound-foolish,” Kobziar wrote. 

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