Jerry Brown proposed easing the forestry rules that Trump criticized
California governor Jerry Brown feigned outrage over President Trump's criticism of California's forestry management in the wake of the horrendous wildfires still raging. But it turns out that he recognized those very problems and proposed changes to lessen the threat last August.
Trump's criticism, in other words, was spot on:
There is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor. Billions of dollars are given each year, with so many lives lost, all because of gross mismanagement of the forests. Remedy now, or no more Fed payments!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 10, 2018
Brown's response (delivered by a spokesman) ignored the substantive issue and went for the rhetorical high ground and ignored Brown's own recognition of the problems. He could have responded with "Yes, Mr. President, and I have already recognized the problem and moved to solve it," but that would not palliate the Trump-haters who dominate California politics.
Gov. Jerry Brown's spokesman, Evan Westrup, said in a statement, "Our focus is on the Californians impacted by these fires and the first responders and firefighters working around the clock to save lives and property – not on the president's inane, uninformed tweets."
So did his successor:
Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom noted in a tweet that "lives have been lost" and "entire towns have burned to the ground," something Trump didn't initially mention, and added, "This is not a time for partisanship. This is a time for coordinating relief and response and lifting those in need up."
But in substance, Brown proposed changes in California forestry regulations last August that confirm that the policy of no logging and no clearing of dead trees and underbrush fuels the fires. Emily Zanotti of The Daily Wire has the story:
Months ago, California Gov. Jerry Brown urged state lawmakers to loosen restrictive logging regulations put in place to appease environmentalists – a move that appears to have confirmed that President Trump's recent critiques of state logging practices was correct.
The Santa Cruz Sentinel reported back in August that Brown was proposing one of the most significant changes to the state's logging rules in nearly half a century.
"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 paper reported.
"Under Brown's proposal, private landowners would be able to cut trees up to 36 inches in diameter – up from the current 26 inches – on property 300 acres or less without getting a timber harvest permit from the state, as long as their purpose was to thin forests to reduce fire risk," the Sentinel reported. "They also would be able to build roads of up to 600 feet long without getting a permit, as long as they repaired and replanted them."
Dead trees and underbrush catch fire faster than living trees during dry weather (file photo via USDA).
Without the ability to harvest commercially viable trees, landowners are not able to clear the dead trees and underbrush that constitute the fuel for wildfires.
Brown prefers to blame his obsession: global warming, the doomsday cult belief that empowers governments to control and tax all energy usage. And that somehow is supposed to justify Brown's half-fast "high-speed rail" fiasco, consuming billions of dollars on a project that will never be finished and already is in clear violation of the terms voters approved for its bond issue.