Read the story here. Advertise at Before It's News here.
Profile image
By Competitive Enterprise Institute (Reporter)
Contributor profile | More stories
Story Views
Last hour:
Last 24 hours:

Man-made policies, not man-made climate change, fueling wildfires, says Myron Ebell

% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents.

The catastrophic wildfires raging up and down the West Coast should force a radical reversal of 30 years of disastrous government policies.

Instead, the politicians and environmental pressure groups who gave us these policies are using climate change as a smokescreen to avoid blame and to prevent the change of direction in management needed to restore health to our forests and thereby reduce fire risks.

We might be able to forgive those who, like Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, know nothing about what they are talking about when they blame the fires on climate change.

It is enough to point out that the big fires are occurring almost exclusively on public land — national forests, Bureau of Land Management forests and rangelands, and state forests — and not on privately owned forests.

But the Sierra Club, founded by John Muir in 1892 to protect Yosemite National Park and other wonders in California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains, should know better. The Sierra Club has led the campaign to end active management of public lands and since 1996 has officially opposed commercial logging in all national forests.

Yet here is a statement published on Aug. 27 by the Sierra Club’s executive director, Michael Brune: “If any good can come from this fire season, let it be that it serves as a wake-up call for our politicians. We must end the cycle of putting fossil fuel interests before public health and safety — right here, and right now. … California can set the standard for environmental policies across the country. If we sharply reduce emissions, we show the rest of the US what’s possible.”

While Congress has not legally banned commercial logging, Sierra Club allies like Reps. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., and Jared Huffman, D-Calif., who represent two of the districts hardest hit by this year’s fires, have successfully pushed for management changes that come pretty close to a ban.

Timber production from national forests averaged 12 billion board feet per year in the 1980s. As a result of the “timber wars,” which most notably included listing of the spotted owl as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act in 1990, timber production declined precipitously through the 1990s and has averaged between 2 and 3 billion board feet since 2000.

The Trump administration, to its credit, has tried to increase the cut to at least 4 billion board feet in the face of fierce opposition from Congress and the environmental movement.

Cutting 2 billion board feet of timber a year while growing trees add between 14 and 17 billion board feet a year in total forest volume has inevitably led to massive fuel buildup. And massive fuel buildup inevitably leads to disease and insect infestation and eventually to catastrophic fires.

Bill Dennison, former president of California Forestry Association, is one of the many professional foresters who warned in the early 1990s of the consequences of closing the national forests to logging.

But you don’t need to be a professional forester to see that those warnings have come true. Anyone driving through forests in the Sierra Nevada, the Cascade Mountains, or the Coast Range can see the destruction.

Tens of millions of dead trees as a result of bark beetle infestations. Endless thickets of unhealthy small trees where there should be mighty stands of Douglas fir or ponderosa pine. And huge areas — more and bigger every year — that have been incinerated by fire, leaving nothing but blackened trunks and wildlife carcasses.

In the face of this environmental and economic catastrophe, there have been calls for modest reforms.

Some advocate more prescribed burns. Others promote more programs to thin overgrown thickets. There is even a bill in Congress to allow salvage logging without the environmental reviews (followed by lawsuits) that now last so long that the dead or burned timber has decayed so much that it is worthless before salvage begins.

But these reforms are mere Band-Aids when a heart transplant is the only thing that will save the patient. If we are going to save public forests and reduce the risk of catastrophic fires, a healthy timber industry must be restored.

It won’t be easy. Overcoming intense opposition to logging is only the first step.

Myron Ebell is director of the Center for Energy and Environment at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. He wrote this for

Sunday, September 27, 2020
Referenced experts: 
Myron Ebell


Before It’s News® is a community of individuals who report on what’s going on around them, from all around the world.

Anyone can join.
Anyone can contribute.
Anyone can become informed about their world.

"United We Stand" Click Here To Create Your Personal Citizen Journalist Account Today, Be Sure To Invite Your Friends.

Please Help Support BeforeitsNews by trying our Natural Health Products below!

Order by Phone at 888-809-8385 or online at M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Order by Phone at 866-388-7003 or online at M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Order by Phone at 866-388-7003 or online at M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Humic & Fulvic Trace Minerals Complex - Nature's most important supplement! Vivid Dreams again!

HNEX HydroNano EXtracellular Water - Improve immune system health and reduce inflammation.

Ultimate Clinical Potency Curcumin - Natural pain relief, reduce inflammation and so much more.

MitoCopper - Bioavailable Copper destroys pathogens and gives you more energy. (See Blood Video)

Oxy Powder - Natural Colon Cleanser!  Cleans out toxic buildup with oxygen!

Nascent Iodine - Promotes detoxification, mental focus and thyroid health.

Smart Meter Cover -  Reduces Smart Meter radiation by 96%! (See Video).

Report abuse


    Your Comments
    Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green

    Load more ...




    Email this story
    Email this story

    If you really want to ban this commenter, please write down the reason:

    If you really want to disable all recommended stories, click on OK button. After that, you will be redirect to your options page.