‘Billions of dollars are sent to the State of California for Forest fires that, with proper Forest Management, would never happen…’
(Michael Barnes, Liberty Headlines) President Donald Trump has had enough of California’s self-inflicted environmental damage, and the state’s whopping 55-member congressional delegation that insists federal taxpayers should pay for it.
As he faces heat over the government shutdown and members of Congress, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., refusing to budge on his border-wall proposal, Trump tweeted Wednesday that he had a different idea how to curb wasteful spending on Pelosi’s home turf.
Billions of dollars are sent to the State of California for Forest fires that, with proper Forest Management, would never happen. Unless they get their act together, which is unlikely, I have ordered FEMA to send no more money. It is a disgraceful situation in lives & money!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 9, 2019
It’s unclear if Trump was threatening to cut off federal funding, or if he has already.
Pelosi responded to Trump’s message, tweeting herself that the president’s “threat insults the memory of scores of Americans who perished in wildfires last year & thousands more who lost their homes.”
Environmentalists have blamed California’s record wildfires on global warming, but many observers—both in and out of the Trump administration—say the crisis is a result of forestland mismanagement.
Forest debris has been allowed to accumulate throughout California’s vast public wilderness lands in recent years, due to far-reaching state anti-logging laws, harsh development restrictions and years of activist lawsuits.
The accumulated debris has turned into fuel to intensify, prolong and spread the devastating fires.
“Dead trees continue to pose a hazard to people and critical infrastructure, mostly centered in the central and southern Sierra Nevada region of the state,” federal and state officials said in a joint statement in December 2017.
The statement would prove prophetic, as 2018 would be the worst year for wildfires in the state’s history.
“Whether you’re a global warming activist or denier,” it doesn’t matter if you have rotting wood in the forests, said Ryan Zinke, secretary of the U.S. Interior Department.
In November, a bipartisan group of congressmen urged the adoption of emergency federal forest-management provisions that could help prevent further California fires, but the measures were blocked by Senate Democrats.