National Forest Legal News Blog


Forest Service Defends Lack of Management Leading Up to L.A. Fire

Posted by nationalforestlawblog on September 2, 2009 at 9:48 PM

California - Now that the massive California blaze reaches Los Angeles fingers are point.  On the day that we learned that the fire was likely human caused, people are pointing fingers at the Forest Service for a lack of management.  The agency was set to burn brush on more than 1,700 acres, but had not yet gotten around to it prior to the fire.  According to the AP:

The agency defended its efforts, saying weather, wind and environmental rules tightly limit how often these "prescribed burns" can be conducted.


Will the Forest Service change its fire management.  You can check out the comments at the S.F. Chronicle's report here.

According to the California Forestry Association environmental appeals and litigation is a large part of the lack of management.  From the AP report:


Steve Brink, a vice president with the California Forestry Association, an industry group, said as many as 8 million acres of national forest in California are overgrown and at risk of wildfire. He said that too few days provide the conditions necessary for larger, prescribed burns and that the Forest Service needs to speed up programs to thin forests, largely by machine.

"Special interest groups that don't want them to do it have appeals and litigation through the courts to stall or stop any project they wish. Consequently, the Forest Service is not able to put a dent in the problem," Brink said.

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