Quantcast

Zinke Announces Plan to Fight Wildfires With More Logging

Popular
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke talks to journalists outside the White House West Wing before attending a Trump cabinet meeting on Aug. 16. Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

The Trump administration announced a new plan Thursday to fight ongoing wildfires with more logging, and with no mention of additional funding or climate change.


Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke stated in a Fox Business interview that the fires are so intense because the forests have "been held hostage by environmental groups" to prevent proper management via logging, and that climate change is "irrelevant."

But when asked later by Weijia Jang of CBS, Zinke said "of course" climate change is part of the science explaining the wildfires. Then, at a cabinet meeting Thursday afternoon, President Trump asked Zinke to repeat his assertion that "it's not a global warming thing."

"Zinke, like Trump, continues to deny the obvious," Kirin Kennedy, associate legislative director for lands and wildlife for the Sierra Club, said in an email, Bloomberg reported. "It is climate change that is exacerbating wildfire season in the West."

As reported by The Sacramento Bee:

The plan, which emphasizes state and local collaboration, was short on details, however. It does not address politically sensitive issues like climate change, which Democrats and scientists argue is at the root of the problem, or the role of environmental reviews for logging projects, which conservatives want to sidestep. And it did not address the possibility of additional funding, suggesting the burden to pay for the new efforts could fall to the states.

For a deeper dive:

New Plan: Bloomberg, SacBee; Zinke's comments: HuffPost, NBC, NY Mag, CBS, New Republic, Fox Business, Axios

For more climate change and clean energy news, you can follow Climate Nexus on Twitter and Facebook, and sign up for daily Hot News.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Bill Bader, owner of Bader Farms, and his wife Denise pose in front of the Rush Hudson Limbaugh Sr. United States Courthouse in Cape Girardeau, Missouri on Jan. 27, 2020. Johnathan Hettinger / Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting

A jury in Missouri awarded a farmer $265 million in a lawsuit that claimed Bayer and BASF's weedkiller destroyed his peach orchard, as Reuters reported.

Read More
Earthjustice says Louisiana has violated the Clean Water Act and given Formosa Plastics Group the "greenlight to double toxic air pollution in St. James" (seen above). Louisiana Bucket Brigade

By Jessica Corbett

A coalition of local and national groups on Friday launched a legal challenge to a Louisiana state agency's decision to approve air permits for a $9.4 billion petrochemical complex that Taiwan-based Formosa Plastics Group plans to build in the region nationally known as "Cancer Alley."

Read More
Sponsored
Bears Ears National Monument in Utah. Bob Wick / BLM / onEarth

By Jeff Turrentine

Well, he told us he would do it. And now he's actually doing it — or at least trying to. Late last week, President Trump, via the U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management, announced that he was formalizing his plan to develop lands that once belonged within the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments in southern Utah. The former is a stunningly beautiful, ecologically fragile landscape that has played a crucial role in Native American culture in the Southwest for thousands of years; the latter, just as beautiful, is one of the richest and most important paleontological sites in North America.

Read More
Smoke pours from the exhaust pipes on a truck on Nov. 5, 2019 in Miami, Florida. According to a 2017 EPA study the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. is from the transportation sector. Joe Raedle / Getty Images

By Julie McNamara

First, a fact: People want clean air. And who can blame them — in the United States more than 100,000 people still die from air pollution each year.

Read More
Hundreds of thousands of green-lipped mussels (like those pictured) were found dead on a New Zealand beach. DianesPhotographicDesigns / iStock / Getty Images

Hundreds of thousands of mussels that cooked to death off the New Zealand coast are likely casualties of the climate crisis.

Read More