By Adam Aton, E&E News reporter, originally published by E&E News
President Trump yesterday made inaccurate wildfire and water claims while meeting with local officials from California, and threatened to withhold federal firefighting money from the Golden State.
Moments after Trump accepted a certificate thanking him for the response to this summer’s Carr Fire, the sixth most destructive in state history, he incorrectly asserted that California could avoid forest fires altogether if more trees were cut down.
“We’re tired of giving California hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars all the time for their forest fires, when you wouldn’t have them if they manage their forests properly,” he said. “So California, get on the ball, because we’re not going to hand you any more money; it’s ridiculous.”
Chief Scientist, Dr. Dominick DellaSala, addresses the role of primary (unlogged) rainforests at the California Climate Summit. The video below is set to begin about 1 hour and 20 minutes in, at the start of Dr. DellaSala’s presentation.
Marc Heller, E&E News reporter
Originally Published: Wednesday, August 29, 2018 at E&E News
Senate Agriculture Chairman Pat Roberts said yesterday he aims to have a new draft farm bill ready by the time a House-Senate conference committee meets on the legislation next week.
The Kansas Republican told reporters the top four lawmakers on the House and Senate agriculture committees discussed the 2018 farm bill on a conference call yesterday, as they try to iron out differences on nutrition, conservation and other aspects of the five-year measure.
The 2014 farm bill expires at the end of September.
“I think that went well,” Roberts said of the discussion with Senate Agriculture Committee ranking member Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and House Agriculture Chairman Mike Conaway (R-Texas) and ranking member Collin Peterson (D-Minn.).
Asked whether he expects to present a draft conference report to the panel at its first meeting Sept. 5, Roberts said: “That’s the goal. We’re not there yet. More meetings and more phone calls.”
With the expiration of the current farm bill looming, and midterm elections weeks later, pressure is growing on the Republican-led Congress to complete a bill before a potential flip of the House to Democratic control.
Date: August 16, 2018
At the Geos Institute, we take seriously the statements made by Secretary Ryan Zinke that Americans concerned about timber harvesting on public lands are “environmental terrorists.”
Like so many of our fellow Americans, we explore, fish, hike, recreate, and enjoy our public lands. We are parents, homeowners, scientists, and everyday people working to advance social and ecological causes using the public processes our democracy was founded upon.
People advocating on behalf of the environment have cleaned up our air and water and prevented irreparable harm to ecosystems across our nation. Public lands are a key part of our children’s inheritance and we are proud to defend them against ill-conceived management and resource extraction.
We do not employ violence or the threat of violence in our efforts to protect the public lands that provide essential services to our communities. We deplore the use of violence because it is immoral to harm, or threaten to harm, others in the course of advocating for a particular action.
Unfounded verbal attacks like those from the Trump Administration violate the fundamental basis of our democracy – the idea that we can passionately debate issues in the public sphere freely without fear of harm. They impede our ability to work proactively in our communities on fire preparation – the very activities that protect homes, lives, and livelihoods.
The comments made by Secretary Zinke create a wedge where there is no need to have one and put Americans at risk of violence and misdirected retaliatory actions. Addressing climate change and its effects on wildfires is a complex endeavor, one that requires people with level heads to work together. Rhetoric like this gets in the way of real solutions and moves us backward. We expect and deserve better from our leaders.
As always, we stand ready to work with the Administration on proactive community protection from wildfires and we ask that administration officials refrain from statements that could lead to violence in our communities.
By Henry Houston, originally published by Eugene Weekly, August 9, 2018
The state of Oregon currently faces 14 fires, affecting nearly 180,000 acres, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. When the fire season is over, some of what’s left is dead, burned trees.
But what happens to those burned trees?
Eastern Oregon Rep. Greg Walden is urging the U.S. Senate to adopt the House’s version of the 2018 Farm Bill, which would remove burned, dead trees from public lands “while they still have value and replant” forest — just like private timberlands do.
It’s common sense, Walden says, in an email newsletter to constituents.
That’s a problematic strategy, according to Dominick DellaSala, president and chief scientist at Geos Institute in Ashland.
In this interview by Kristen Hirsh-Pearson, Ex-Situ Board Member of the Montreal Chapter of the Society for Conservation Biology and M.Sc. Candidate in the Venter Lab at the University of Northern British Columbia, Dr. Dominick DellaSala speaks about his work, the state of global biodiversity conservation, and has words of wisdom for the next generation of conservation biologists.
In 1992, I was one of 1,700 scientists, including Nobel laureates, who issued the “Scientists’ Warning to Humanity” because of damage humans were inflicting on the Earth. This March, I joined 20,000 scientists in sounding a second alarm as humanity is on an even faster collision with Earth’s life-giving systems.
This is not Chicken Little or “fake news.” Scientists read the planet’s life signs like the warning lights on a car’s dashboard. We use satellites, global weather stations and polar ice measurements to document how humans are altering the global climate and destroying the planet’s ecosystems in unprecedented ways. In the years since the first warning, Earth’s dashboard lights are signaling a pending system-wide failure that threatens life on Earth on a scale soon to rival the epic demise of the dinosaurs.
Consider these alarming trends:
Half of all species on Earth could be extinguished by mid- to late century, mainly from habitat destruction and global warming as more and more people consume finite natural resources and our ecological footprint reaches dangerous levels. For the Rogue Valley, summer temperatures will heat up by 7 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit. Coastal towns will experience unprecedented sea-level rise from melting glaciers. Health ailments such as Lyme disease, asthma and heat exhaustion, exacerbated by climate change, will increasingly hurt children, the elderly and the economically disadvantaged. Category 5 hurricanes will become the new norm for east coast residents and Alaska Native villages will be displaced by floods and permafrost melting. It’s hard to put a smiley face on Earth Day celebrations after forecasting such alarming trends. But I am an eternal optimist and a parent, so I have to believe there is still time to act for a better future.
George Cahlink and Geof Koss, E&E News reporters
Published: Tuesday, March 20, 2018
Congressional leaders hope to have massive omnibus spending legislation on the House floor by Thursday, assuming they can resolve a few dozen outstanding policy fights.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said this morning he’s “hoping” to file the $1.3 trillion spending bill late tonight, paving the way for the House Rules Committee to consider the bill tomorrow and then floor action Thursday.
He said he does not expect to need to pass an interim stopgap spending bill to avert a federal shutdown when current funding runs out Friday.
Open Letter to Congress from Scientists Concerned about Proposals to “Fix” Funding for Wildland Fire Management
Read the final letter delivered to Congress on March 20, 2018
On Wednesday September 27, 2017 the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations held a hearing on wildfire policy. Geos Institute’s President and Chief Scientist Dr. Dominick DellaSala testified. You can read his full testimony here, read his Questions for the Record statement, watch a video of the hearing, and read coverage by E&E Daily below.
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