Fire experts say mismanaged, choked forests need to be cleared out

Decades of mismanagement led to choked forests — now it's time to clear them out, fire experts say.

10/18/2020 9:47:00 PM

Decades of mismanagement led to choked forests — now it's time to clear them out, fire experts say.

“Forest management is a lot like gardening. You have to keep the forest open and thin,' said Mike Rogers, a former Angeles National Forest supervisor.

alone, at least 31 people dead and hundreds of others forced to flee their homes.Wildland fires are increasingly following a now-familiar pattern: bigger, hotter and more destructive. A recent Los Angeles Times headline declaring 2020 to be“The worst fire season. Again”

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illustrated some of the frustration residents feel over the state’s fire strategy.For decades, federal, state and local agencies have prioritized fire suppression over prevention, pouring billions of dollars into hiring and training firefighters, buying and maintaining firefighting equipment and educating the public on fire safety.

But as climate change continues to fuel dry conditions in the American West, many experts say it’s long past time to shift the focus back to managing healthy forests that can better withstand fire and add to a more sustainable future.“Fires have always been part of our ecosystem,” said Mike Rogers, a former Angeles National Forest supervisor and board member of the National Association of Forest Service Retirees. “Forest management is a lot like gardening. You have to keep the forest open and thin.”

Federal forest management dates back to the 1870s, when Congress created an office within the U.S. Department of Agriculture tasked with assessing the quality and conditions of forests. In 1905, President Theodore Roosevelt oversaw the birth of the U.S. Forest Service, which manages 193 million acres of public land across the country.

In California, forest management also falls under the purview of the state’s Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, known as Cal Fire.Since 2011, Cal Fire has spentmore than $600 million on fire prevention effortsand removed or felled nearly 2 million dead trees. In 2018, California set the goal of treating — which can include slashing, burning, sawing or thinning trees — 500,000 acres of wildland per year, yet Cal Fire remains far from meeting that target.

“It’s an ongoing process,” said Cal Fire spokeswoman Christine McMorrow. “There is always going to be more work.”Cal Fire is steadily receiving injections of money to do what it can to reduce wildfire risk, including better land management and training a new generation of foresters. In 2018, former Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill that will allocate $1 billion over five years to Cal Fire to be used on fire prevention measures. But experts warn that more money is needed.

“Is it enough? Well, it’s enough for what we’re doing right now, but is that enough to get all the work that needs to be done in one year or five years or 10 years? It’s going to a take lot,” McMorrow said.Long before the country’s founding, Spanish explorers documented wildland fires in California. In 1542, conquistador Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo sailed along the coast and noticed smoke billowing up from what is now known as the Los Angeles Basin. He called it “la baya de los fumos,” or “

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the bay of smoke.”Studies by archeologists and historians support a theory that Cabrillo might have been witnessing an early form of land management, including the burning of shrubs and chaparral to clear dry brush and promote better conditions for hunting big game.

Read more: NBC News »

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Of course the president has been saying this since he got elected, but the leftist media and the tree huggers said he was a climate change denier. 🙄🙄🙄 Now people that actually manage forest are totally validating his point. Clean up the damn forest! So. Exactly like trump said then? And you called him crazy for it.

Add this to the list of things the MSM has gaslighted. EdMorrissey Mismanagement now is it. Didn't Trump say years ago that the fires are due to poor forest management. Trump was right again. NOW you report this as news? Good grief. So you finally decided to run a story about the real reason why CA is on fire and you do it during October. Jesus, it is like you take two steps forward and one back. You're nothing but a Confederate

realDonaldTrump is RIGHT AGAIN This story is an excellent example of why the U.S. media is the second worst in the world behind North Korea. For years, decades even, people have been saying forest mismanagement has facilitated the increase in widespread forest fires. But it didn't fit the narrative . . .

But but climate change This sounds like Trump telling California to go to hell and buy some rakes. Ok, but let’s not pretend California is burning alive solely because of poor forest management... Interesting. Sounds similar to what our President said... Just think of the endangered animals that died from these fires because of the restrictions in place that are supposedly for protecting endangered animals

Wait, but our stupid governor GavinNewsom said it was climate changes even though they were set buy humans and abundant of fuel due to record braking rain and mismanagement of our forest. Another proof of personal agendas before what's best for the state. SOMEONE FROM THE WHITE HOUSE SAID THE SAME THING. ARE THE MSM (TO INCLUDE NBC) GOING TO SAY THEY ARE WRONG TOO?

Look here, JACK.. so if you know that to be true in your counties,. I don't get it.. Head to to h elp everyone affected the day In addition to that,, . pg and e needs to fix its hella old infrastructure. too. Wow!!! NBC ESprite2315 I bet it that hurts to have to publish an article that Trump was right. 😭 Tough life.

Trump is right then? Tell that to Newsom It's Trump's job. Hope he brings his rake. CA does manage its forests and very well. The federal government however does not manage federal forrest lands very well. At all. Climate change, unless the Australians and Siberian’s are somehow managing their forests wrong as well.

Sounds like what Trump said this summer. 🤔 1. FEDERAL LANDS 2. CLIMATE CHANGE IS REAL 6lackelonmusk Oh, you mean like conservatives have been saying for years? Gee, are you implying, the forests need to be ... RAKED? Sounds like Trump was right yet again. Seriously NBC.... 🖕 Rake the leaves like Trump wants. 🙄

jerrymmoss 'Now it's time.' Should be done on a regular basis. First the townhall, now this. Did Trump buy part of NBC and we just didn’t know it? Idiots you know how many trillions of tons are on the forest... No shit Sherlock. what, no, this is not a thing! forests existed millennia before humans started turning up the heat

Ya don’t say. So realDonaldTrump was right... RobSchneider And what percent is federally managed, I believe most? Sounds like what Trump said November 2018. But he used the word “rake” and was mocked for it. Just liked the president said but, unfortunately, that didn't fit into the anti-Trump global warming nbcnews narrative.

You forgot to include 'The Great American Outdoors Act, signed by President Trump on August 4, will provide critical funding for the Forest Service’s work in California.' Doubling the area of forest actively managed & creating jobs. But OrAnGe MaN bAd Aren't like seventy %federal land? So it's the feds fault for not maintaining it?

Fire experts echo President Trump: Decades of mismanagement led to choked forests — now it's time to clear them out. Well said...nothing to do with liberal global warming fairy tale EXACTLY WHAT THE MEDIA ATTACKED PRESIDENT TRUMP FOR SAYING THE EXACT SAME THING. APOLOGIZE. realDonaldTrump so you admit that it’s user error?

Maybe we should have asked the people who lived in those forests for the last couple of thousand years how they managed the land. You know, before we killed them off or sent them onto reservations. Really? Now you agree. aPotentPloy Sounds vaguely like something Trump was ridiculed for. People really should read the article.

But wait... newsome and harros said it was global warming. Lol ClimateAudit Climate change must end in California. Other states don’t seem to have a problem. Just as trump said Isn't this what Trump said and libs lost their damn minds? Trump just keeps on winning. ClimateDepot Decades of mismanagement and some deranged or political arsonists finally prove that global warming is real.

But haven't you been blaming this on the President? So, he was right again. Will you publish an apology and retract your previous articles? No you won't, because you're a joke. So Trump was right? ClimateAudit Thank your Governors for the mismanagement of your states! Newsom 🤔 Forests managed themselves for millions of years - they don't need our help

Funny how this wasn't the narrative a month ago whole this was the hot topic. LOL😂 climate change fraud A forest fire reborns forest new Exactly what Trump has been saying. It’s laughable that forest fires are caused by global warming. They are caused by failed forest management. The leaders of CA are solely responsible for all the destruction caused by their forest fires.

myao2011 If it were not for global warming it wouldn't be this bad. ...but, but, global warming caused the fires, right? LOL! Decades of mismanagement by who exactly? That’s right the Demorats running those states. They’re really good at mismanagement of all kinds. Gee, how did forests manage before humans?

Wow, only 6 months late. Good job NBC. I thought it was climate change. This is why you people have no credibility. You call people science deniers who actually know what they’re talking about bc journalist now days are political hacks. Better hope the right doesn’t start advocating for re-education camps like left is

No shit 😈 Cindita14544357 Wait! Wasn’t realDonaldTrump mocked for saying the same exac thing? Sigh 😔 Trump says I think the current occupant of the White House realDonaldTrump might have mentioned this once or .... a HUNDRED TIMES!!! Sort of ironic that having laws to make the tree huggers happy is causing more trees to burn down

So like what Trump said a long time ago and people made fun of him?! Trump right again!! Real news. Good job. I think forests know how to take care of themselves without human intervention. _Mama_Doc Isn't this what POTUS has been saying for 3 years, and you guys translated that as 'Climate Change Denier'? Now all of a sudden its a plausible reason for the fires because someone other than the POTUS said it. SMH.

Yeah President Trump said this & nobody took him seriously. Journalism is dead. Wait I thought it was climate change? The Facebook and twitter 'fact' nazis wouldn't let anyone argue otherwise. But climate change So, Republicans and trump were right all along? Sounds familiar. realDonaldTrump JoeBiden CNN ABC CBSNews please can someone tell me for the crime Hunter Biden did he never had a jail term but 4 much less offense the African Americans suffered by the bill written by JoeBiden KamalaHarris CoryBooker SenatorTimScott icecube

Absolutely correct! This has been talked about since the 80's. Remember when Trump said this, media went crazy bashing him? Duh So President Trump was Right ? Hmmm 🤔 Well no shit... Cut the trees for lumber every few years otherwise they'll burn anyway Trump said this and was savaged for it. He was right. Typical.

Climate change is already doing that for us. That’s exactly what the president is trying to tell them but they won’t listen because they know he is right. cmarinucci Large scale settlement by and in forests as well a introduction of commercial activities, like resorts make controlled burns and other methods of clearing forests difficult, putting too much emphasis on suppression, thereby increasing fire fuel

Couldn't it be both? Um... I believe that’s what President Trump has been saying for years. Oh but when Trump says this you throw a fit!!!🙄🙄🙄🙄 ya think? So in other words realDonaldTrump was right again! Funny, when realDonaldTrump brought this up a million times he was called every ist and ism ever created. FakeNewsMediaClowns

Paging GavinNewsom No kidding. Maybe forest management should 'rake' more often.... that and the paid for radical left arsonists Same thing Trump said. Go figure. Sorry, Gov Newsom assures me this is not true so I don’t believe you. Maybe before next fire season would be smart... Isn’t that exactly what Trump has been saying

Maybe they will listen this time. There is no other way to stop this devastation. So you're saying Trump was right. Republicans have been telling you guys this for decades. It’s NOT global warming it’s Democrat mismanagement. Should have used their forest management and this wouldn't be like this. But no I was told by bill nye who is a science guy it’s global warming

hebertdamon Nearly 60 percent of the forests in California, 25 percent of the forests in Oregon, and 44 percent in Washington are national forests. Maintained by the federal government. Maybe the Trump kids could go rake them. tryingtobecivil Wow, you mean the experts agree with Trump? Wow, can’t believe NBC is admitting this.

Politicians need to change No shit Uh, isn't that exactly what realDonaldTrump said in the debate? but but climate change......... They've been saying it. noooooo shit...... Finally mainstream media going to tell the truth? Republicans have been saying this for years. Democratic governors ignored them. Federal government

Thank you for FINALLY printing the truth Trump called it in 2018, but California apparently did nothing. RobSchneider Huh? Isn’t this what Trump was ridiculed for saying? We had federal jobs to do the census now where are the temporary raking jobs to clean up the forest? Trump was right after all and the fake scientists and climate change proponents kept lieing to the public. Who is a liar now. Trump deserves an apology.

You are finally reporting on something Trump has said so many times. Psst Gav, did you see this 🤔 Old enough to remember Trump being mocked for this very suggestion. He’s right again. Lol. Interesting I believe that realDonaldTrump already said this Trump was right. AGAIN TRUMP WAS RIGHT AGAIN and most of that was on the TheDemocrats watch...

CA can't afford forest management bc of welfare for all, citizens AND not-citizens. Wait? Not Trumps fault? RobSchneider So it wasn't Marxist global climate warming change that caused it. It was just liberal stupidity. It's so clear now. See what we can learn children when we ignore those dirty hippies?🙂

I am sure that I have read about this somewhere else before all of this. In short. Not global warming and Trump was right. Isn't this what Trump said and the left said no no no it's climate change? Both from NBC news, older report dated November 12, 2018 and then today. This kind of reporting is a crime. NBC news joining the ranks of Daily Mail/ The Hill/ National Enquirer/ NY post.

But but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but climate change!!!! No shit. Weren’t we told this was an Alt Right talking point? Duh kaylibmusic This sounds familiar, President Trump states the same thing and NBC said it was untrue. Now NBC says it was and is true.

Hello! Haven’t we, and the President said this repeatedly? Didn’t realDonaldTrump say that? So Trump was right? So trump was right. Again? President Trump has been telling you all this for the last 4 years! Decades of mismanagement led to choked forests — now it's time to clear them out, fire experts say. - - so the 'let's insist it is climate change' crap from the Democrats is wrong .... hey BidenHarris2020 you're listening to the experts.... right?

kaylibmusic nytimes I bet there were fire experts saying this before. But you know, cLiMaTe ChAnGe Duh Sounds like nature is clearing it for you.. See, there are these things called forest cities Soooo Trump was right. Got it. FOOL_NELSON Gee, I guess that means Trump was right.................again He was right, again?

Decades of no management led to a protect it all attitude which is where we are today. Needs more balance. Decades of ignoring this story of proper forrest management and conservation enabled bad policy decisions by 'environmental' politicians. It's time for the news media to report the news. Texas has more acres of forest than CA...guess climate change only effects Weat coast😂😂

“Now”? Trump’s been saying this for years, and was subjected to media-inspired ignorance that the “forestry rakes” Trump talked about weighed 100 tons on up. Imagine that. Oh , but I thought Trump was stupid for suggesting this very thing! Hmmm! Could it be that POTUS was right!!!? So, Trump has known this for years and yet, he did nothing about it?

Wait - I was told that the fires that somehow only seem to exist in CA were the result of 'climate change'? Timcast That awkward moment you realize Trump was right again. Didn’t Trump say this a couple years ago? 😳 you admit it?! POTUS was right again. So, Trump was right. Been saying this for decades. Its why my family left CA in the early 90s.

Uh oh Twitter Police are you gonna flag this article too? Six weeks ago, NBC News spent weeks reciting the Democrat political mantra that said forest fires were caused by global warming (albeit, global warming that only affects the West Coast of the United States). I guess they decided to ask some experts.

President Trump was right again. How 'bout that! 👍🇺🇸 Ok let me get this straight? There are many 100’s of thousands of acres of forests in the US, especially in California! So now trump is telling the states they need to rake the forest floors? Really? So how many thousands of employees does he think that will require?

Trump was right trump2020 So what Trump said last time and this time, and the media (of course) chose to ignore and ridicule... journalism Imagine that!! I think someone else was saying this like a year ago. Who was that? Help me out . You remember, you and the other members of the MSM made fun of him. FOOL_NELSON No shit...so what have the experts being doing for the last few decades?

Duh...not global warming. didn’t Trump say this? Yes, he did. Work the problem. Engineer brush harvest machines: small, med large. Hire unemployed to operate them. Use the material for fires places logs. Material has high energy density. Use high pressure press. New England States love their fire places in winter

This is exactly what realDonaldTrump has said over and over. Really? But? Brush build up and stream lining water ruin off to lower ground water...... = morons. Didn’t our President say this? Didn't Trump say this? TRUMP WAS RIGHT 🤣🤣🤣 Just say Trump was right. Wow amazing you acknowledge the truth for once . Who is this and what did you do with the nbc news team !?

Trump said this literally.... but the swamp creatures keep lying about climate change JFC, oh did you finally hear us screaming about it? THErealDVORAK adamcurry GavinNewsom See. Vote RED and take California BACK! Recall Newsom! Vote Pelosi out! Open California❤🇺🇸❤🇺🇸❤🇺🇸 Saw baby saw. Timber management will help a lot.

FirearmsPB Owned by the US Government These “experts” may have ties to the timber industry. Trust with caution. Is a major network coming to their senses? I hope so. So what finally changed your mind, did Obama say something? But muh GlobalWarming ? So Trump was right. NFS Trump said the same but u called him racist

Where have I heard this before....oh, that right...The President. The rest of America will not pay for CA’s piss-poor management and their idiotic politicians. How much did those fires contribute to global warming? So NOT climate change? Any real scientists chiming in on this article? Climate change! Trump told you so..... freakin Trump hating dummies.

CColpetzer Same strategy we need for Democrats.... experts say.... So...what you’re saying is ....realDonaldTrump was right? Again? Wait, isn't this what Trump has been saying? Wow, those experts must have been listening to Trump since the 2019 fire season!!! Did I report on their controlled burns, only 1/3 are completed each year, and with millions of ppl now living in these areas fire risks naturally increase as well. Time to spend $$ to save lives and property. Sad $ gets in the way of life.

It’s called forest. They don’t need humans to interfere with them. Just let them be and stop touching forest land. Wait!!! I thought you all blamed Trump!!! Looks like Mother Nature has taken care of that .. ☘️😳🔥 Wow!!!! You decide to put in print something that the President has been saying all long!!!!

Tell trump to clean up his federal land. Most other forested states have followed proven forest management practices for years. (Nat. Forest lands included.) Like selective harvest, fire lanes, controlled burning, etc. Being “all woke” is not science. It cost loss of life and property. Manage forests!

Absolute idiocy Guess Trump wasn't fire expert-y enough for you. musicandsports0 Cali policies didnt allow forests to be maintained and cleared appropriately..... Now they are dealing with massive forest fires. Not a surprise. Late to the party as usual libs! Ask former Gov. Brown why he vetoed a unanimous bipartisan supported power line, wildfire safety bill in 2016

Federal lands SF Chronicle in 2016 when REPUBLICANS tried to pass logging bill: logging industry and some members of Congress have been spreading misinformation/fear of fire about dead trees in Cali forests in order to promote weakening of enviro laws and increased logging on national forests. Sooo, realDonaldTrump was right? AGAIN!

Duh people in the rural pnw have been screaming it for years! But noooo the asshat environmentalists that live in cities keep filing legal suits to stop thinning! Oh man, I'd better save this story quick before AOC calls NBC and makes them delete it. chasbottom Gee, didn't I hear the President say this very same thing months ago? Another thing he was right about.

🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡 So, not climate change. cc: GovInslee Metalworks4 Better that the forests all burn down with everything in them... with the Federal government paying to rebuild everything. That is why leftist Californians screamed when the Feds DARED to not fork over the maximum for all their fires.

Isn't this what Trump has been saying for the past 12 months, or longer? Yet he never gets credit for anyting. So basically going to rake the forests. 🥴 That moment when the liberal media arrives at the conclusion the rest of us were screaming from the hilltops a decade ago. I feel like I've heard this somewhere before.

I thought it was all global warming Here come the rakes Basically ... Trump was right yet again It would take helicopters,tons of man hours and a shit load of $. You don’t say? Fire expert say? You mean, realDonaldTrump says. realDonaldTrump has been saying this and was told he denies science. Unreal claramanoucheka Well no shit, Sherlock. It was time to clear them out thirty years ago

Isn't this what realDonaldTrump said? hmmmm, interesting Trump has been saying this for years. We'll do this again next year I guess, when Dems get a pass for once again not managing forests, then media covering for them at the time, then this. Yet again, once the facts come out, Trump is vindicated, but because your wanton hatred of him, the left won't do the right thing and will let millions suffer.

JOE BIDEN AND HIS SON ARE CRIMINALS August 21, 2020 😒 It's exactly what Trump said. Are these experts also denying science, and climate change? confirming Trump here.... Nahhhh its due to climate change. This is crazy talk. It's impossible its mismanagement. Media wouldn't lie . But climate change!!! Trump was right. 💯

and if Trump would dare to say this I think you might have just a slightly different take on it. 60% OWNED BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT claramanoucheka I have called out issues with forestry management for many years! Feb/2018 - Mitigation - October 2020 'BUT CLIMATE CHANGE!' GavinNewsom California should be rebuilt with solar panels, windmills and tiny home mansions. If it is self sufficient, and durable..it should be able to withstand anything. The windmills help the smog/fog. The solar power eliminates costly bills so ppl can manage restoration.

Much of that land is privately owned with more owned by the federal government. Mismanaged yes but with budgets cut and the cost going up every year what do you expect. Drought, disease, people all contribute The fires in Boulder County Colorado are happening in areas with mostly brush, that is well managed because it’s largely privately owned. So maybe not forest management. Maybe just global warming. Let’s stop with this BS.

Is that a new way to say climate change? GavinNewsom Government being inept. Surprises only statists. no shit not climate change What? Not caused by climate change? 😂 also the arsonists need to be in jail for life for setting the fires It’s not climate change You don't ' clear out' forests it's nature Tom_Winter . is leaving out a huge component: hotter weather, dry scrub, trees, undergrowth. Climate change. These latest fires are 'climate fires.'

Oh, so it wasn’t climate change? And Trump was correct about his assessment of dry wood on the forest floors? That’s funny... I’m glad we have Trump in charge. This is what he said and started a committee and order to get it taken care of when the media wanted to claim it was just global warming. This is why we need a president that goes and listens to the people, not the media.

But, you said it was climate change 🤷‍♂️ I'm sure there is some of that, but most of the problem is the extreme dry conditions from the added heat. Let's vote for new leadership in DC. Mask up, vote and care for all. = So it isn’t climate change after all? FEDERAL PROPERTY trutsle File this under no shit Sherlock.

So, not climate change? ABC30 , You don't say. has no problem running hundreds of stories that makes President Trump look wrong on an issue but can’t bring themselves to say his name when experts agree with him.💁🏼‍♂️ About time. This ain't climate change it's pure incompetency in managing forests. Boy, Trump says it and hes chastised for it.

Wait so average colder temperatures year over year are not responsible for wildfires? You don’t say...... This isn’t climate change President Trump has been complaining about this . Are states spending federal $$ earmarked for forest management or are the mismanaging funds ? This is timber industry bullshit. They talk about thinning but clear cutting is what they actually do. And old growth forests managed themselves just fine for millions of years.

When trump said that you harpies started screaming “climate change!” Wait a minute you mean its not trump and his 3 years in office? well then! Who am i supposed to blame now? the democrats running the state for decades impossible! then i would have to blame them for the cities they've been running for decades too!

I thought it was global warming not anything else. Now they are admitting the truth. Wow! It sounds like Trump was right, again. But...this was ‘wrong’ when the POTUS said it. 😒🤨 This isn’t climate change Great management by the state 75% of California's forest are owned by the federal government. Why didn't Trump rake the forest?!!

Rake them, like the president said! 🤣 Clear the underbrush, maintain forests. It’s a tough job, but federal, state and local need to step up with money and man power. We are exasperating a problem. And the quiet politicians! I thought it was climate change? 🤔 Which is what Trump said and was attacked over. Funny how this keeps happening....

FACT: the federal government run by trump owns 57% of forest land in California he says forest managament is the soultion and yet they dont do any managment wonder why that is maybe he enjoys going to bed think Americans will die due to his negligance. Isn't that what Trump said? ''Experts'' is the newsroom's latest buzzword.

48% of California is federal land, most of that is forest. So... where is the federal response? Stop blaming CA for something the federal government should be leading.

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