Biden’s Efforts To Clear Wildfire Fuel In US Forests Are Falling Short

"DOWNIEVILLE, Calif. — Using chainsaws, heavy machinery and controlled burns, the Biden administration is trying to turn the tide on worsening wildfires in the U.S. West through a multi-billion dollar cleanup of forests choked with dead trees and undergrowth.

Yet one year into what’s envisioned as a decade-long effort, federal land managers are scrambling to catch up after falling behind on several of their priority forests for thinning even as they exceeded goals elsewhere. And they’ve skipped over some highly at-risk communities to work in less threatened areas, according to data obtained by The Associated Press, public records and Congressional testimony.

With climate change making the situation increasingly dire, mixed early results from the administration’s initiative underscore the challenge of reversing decades of lax forest management and aggressive fire suppression that allowed many woodlands to become tinderboxes. The ambitious effort comes amid pushback from lawmakers dissatisfied with progress to date and criticism from some environmentalists for cutting too many trees."

Matthew Brown, Terry Chea, Caleb Diehl, and Camille Fassett report for the Associated Press June 27, 2023.

Source: AP, 06/28/2023