Western States Scramble To Prepare for Worsening Wildfire Season

Associated Press in the San Francisco Standard
July 6, 2023
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Biden administration is trying to turn the tide on worsening wildfires in the U.S. West through a multibillion dollar cleanup of forests choked with dead trees and undergrowth. Yet one year in, federal land managers are scrambling to catch up… And they’ve skipped over some highly at-risk communities to work in less threatened areas …mixed early results from the administration’s initiative underscore the challenge of reversing decades of lax forest management and aggressive fire suppression that allowed many woodlands to become tinderboxes. …Hindering the Forest Service nationwide is a shortage of workers to cut and remove trees on the scale demanded, government officials and forestry experts say. Litigation ties up many projects, with environmental reviews taking three years on average before work begins …Another problem: Thinning operations aren’t allowed in federally designated wilderness areas. That puts off limits about a third of National Forest areas

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