As California battles statewide wildfires, the death toll and expenditures are rising. The fires have torn through numerous counties throughout the state, and as many as 48 people have died in Camp Fire alone, as reported by NBC News. On Saturday, President Trump commented in a tweet criticizing “forest management.”
The statement sparked outrage from Democratic congressional members, Hollywood, and the media. Even the California firefighters union chief described the comment as “ill-timed and demeaning.”
California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom stated, in a tweet responding to Trump’s, “Lives have been lost. Entire towns have been burned to the ground. Cars abandoned on the side of the road. People are being forced to flee their homes. This is not a time for partisanship. This is a time for coordinating relief and response and lifting those in need up.”
Many even claimed Trump’s statement was not only uncouth, but also uninformed.
However, there may be more truth to Trump’s tweet than many of his critics care to admit. The Democrat-led Little Hoover Commission is an independent state oversight agency that released a report earlier this year on wildfire destruction and forest management practices that seemed to affirm Trump’s sentiments.
Former Democratic representative and deputy district attorney Pedro Nava, who is currently the commission’s chairman, addressed California’s governor and the legislature with an open letter that opens the February report. The first sentence of this letter states: “A century of mismanaging Sierra Nevada forests has brought an unprecedented environmental catastrophe that impacts all Californians.”
After describing the dilapidated state of the Sierra Nevada forests, and providing examples of the “imminent crisis,” Nava suggested “investing upfront to create healthier forests” in an effort to curb “the spiraling costs of state firefighting.” After further description of the economic costs incurred in the wake of wildfires, Nava concluded that “all these are symptoms of a larger problem of forest mismanagement and neglect.”
The report also blames “poor management policies that interrupted the natural and historical cycle of fire” as a cause that has “left forests vulnerable to disease, insects, catastrophic fire and drought.”
Unsurprisingly, it seems some of the outrage and animus directed towards Trump stems from dislike for the president’s personality and policies.
I don’t think Democrats have been saying that California needs to be punished for its forestry practices by withholding Federal funds, have they?
No, it’s not the time for partisanship. It is also not the time for lessons learned; that should have happened years ago when the first fire raged out of control, fed by dead trees, old growth and lack of fire breaks that never gets addressed because the California liberals are so afraid some logging company will make a buck off it. The government of California bears some responsibility for the death and destruction that happens on an ongoing basis there. They will NOT take the necessary steps to mitigate it.