After brushing off President Trump’s charge that poor forest management is partly to blame for California’s recent devastating wildfires, Gov. Jerry Brown is urging state lawmakers to ease restrictions on logging that were enacted under pressure from environmental groups.
In an effort to thin more forests, the proposal would allow private landowners with 300 acres or less to cut larger trees and build temporary roads without obtaining a permit.
Environmentalists, however, want to make California’s logging rules even more restrictive, the Daily Wire said. But the recent deadly fires in both Northern and Southern California have prompted lawmakers to act.
Brown’s proposal would allow landowners to cut trees up to 36 inches in diameter — up from the current 26 inches — without a permit if their purpose is to reduce fire risk.
They also would be be allowed to build roads of up to 600 feet long without a permit.
Landowners currently are allowed only to clear dead and decaying wood and undergrowth.
Two weeks ago, the Daily Wire reported, Trump threatened to withhold federal money if California didn’t improve its forest management.
“There is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor,” he tweeted.
“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!”
Brown’s office responded to the president, calling his opinion “inane” and “uninformed.”
“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.”
And Brown blamed global warming for the increase in fires, the Daily Wire pointed out.