Senator Wyden's Proposed $6 Billion Logging Cure For Wildfire Is Dangerous

Senator Wyden's 21st Century Conservation Act (S.3684.IS,) is a 42 billion dollar package that the Senator is attempting to attach to the next round of COVID-19 Pandemic Relief legislation any time during the summer of 2020.

U.S. Senator Wyden's Proposal for more than $6 billion for "fire fuels" logging on public lands touted as some sort of cure for wildfires is wasteful and dangerous because those resources and labor could be used instead to create structurally and physically fire resistant homes and residential properties across the west when, not if, a wildfire slams into their community.  

However, there are some good provisions in the bill like $9 billion in funding for a new Civilian Conservation Corps, $10  billion for National Parks infrastructure over ten years, $7 billion to help guides and outfitters survive COVID-19 upheaval, and other funding to protect and restore rivers, streams, wetlands, and public resources.  

Again, the logging and "fire fuel" provisions of the Conservation Act are wasteful, counterproductive, and dangerous thus should be removed.

Here is the Bill Section By Section

The 50 Oregon towns most threatened by wildfire clustered around Bend and Medford

"The top three communities listed — and 16 of the top 25 — were all near the Rogue and Illinois valleys. All totaled, Medford, Grants Pass, Ashland and the smaller surrounding towns had more than 105,000 housing units exposed to wildfire.

$6 Billion for "Firewise Crews" Across the West Is A Real On the Ground Remedy That Will Save Homes, Lives and Create Tens of Thousands of Jobs.

Just for argument sake, even if each residence in the Rogue Watershed Basin required an average of $1,000 per home to perform some Firewise measures (likely to cost much more), it would cost more than $100 million just for the Rogue, Applegate and Illinois River Valleys. How about the millions of homes inside high risk fire prone landscapes across the western U.S. and beyond? 

Firewise programs across the nation are mostly volunteer implemented programs. We've found very few communities have funded Firewise Crews. We found one such crew in Austin, Texas several years ago. We assume there must be some in California but we haven't done an extensive search.

However, with state, county and city funding cuts because of COVID-19 there will be no money to continue Firewise programs let alone create new Firewise crews to protect people's homes and property.

This is an emergency situation across the west with predicted severe droughts across much of it on top of severe budget cuts to state, county, and city governments to help implement Firewise programs. Senator Wyden and other policy makers could address this effectively by funding on the ground Firewise crews across the west which would create tens of thousands of jobs when they are most needed in addition to effectively protecting homes, communities and lives.

It seems to be a no brainer but will the corrupting influences from big timber, state and federal agencies, and Trump administation get in the way and create the perfect storm like occurred across California from 2017 to 2019 further damaging our society's ability to find light at the end of this seemingly endless dark tunnel of the 21st century?

Attached Below You'll Find Andy Kerr's - The Larch Company - easy to read description and good or bad ratings of most of the proposed provisions in the Wyden's Conservation Act (S.3684).

Firewise Programs in Oregon

By the way, here in Oregon under a "Firewise" search you'll find only two employees working for the Oregon Department of Forestry located in Jackson and Josephine County. It's not clear what these two employees do other than advise, provide literature, or visit sites on occasion if requested.

Here is a few of the best graphics and fact sheets I could find picked from a web search using Firewise. 

Please Use Them and Request Better Copies from Your Local Fire Agencies.

Before Using Your Voice as Citizens And Preparing Your Home and Communities for Wildfire Consider Reading and Using All the Reports Attached Below. We'll Add More As We Accumulate Them.

Shannon Wilson,
Aug 10, 2020, 2:42 PM
Shannon Wilson,
Jun 8, 2020, 2:36 PM
Shannon Wilson,
Aug 10, 2020, 2:38 PM
Shannon Wilson,
Jun 8, 2020, 12:43 PM