President Trump signs an executive order promoting active forest management

On December 21st, 2018 President Donald Trump signed an executive order promoting active forest management. The order is officially titled, “Promoting Active Management of America’s Forests, Rangelands, and other Federal Lands to Improve Conditions and Reduce Wildfire Risk

The executive order states: It is the policy of the United States to protect people, communities, and watersheds, and to promote healthy and resilient forests, rangelands, and other Federal lands by actively managing them through partnerships with States, tribes, communities, non-profit organizations, and the private sector. For decades, dense trees and undergrowth have amassed in these lands, fueling catastrophic wildfires. These conditions, along with insect infestation, invasive species, disease, and drought, have weakened our forests, rangelands, and other Federal lands, and have placed communities and homes at risk of damage from catastrophic wildfires.

Active management of vegetation is needed to treat these dangerous conditions on Federal lands but is often delayed due to challenges associated with regulatory analysis and current consultation requirements. In addition, land designations and policies can reduce emergency responder access to Federal land and restrict management practices that can promote wildfire-resistant landscapes. With the same vigor and commitment that characterizes our efforts to fight wildfires, we must actively manage our forests, rangelands, and other Federal lands to improve conditions and reduce wildfire risk.

The chief of the USDA Forest Service Vicki Christiansen issued the following statement regarding the Executive Order, “The USDA Forest Service applauds today’s executive order and the President’s commitment to focusing more robust efforts toward active management of American forests and grasslands. This executive order, along with support and authorities under the 2018 Omnibus bill, will have a positive impact on our ability to improve conditions on the land. The natural resource challenges before us require collective action by everyone involved, and we look forward to working with federal partners, states, tribes, key stakeholders and members of the public. We will do the right work in the right place at the right scale using advanced science and mapping tools. We will use all the tools available to us, including mechanical treatments, prescribed fire, and unplanned fire to mitigate the risk of catastrophic wildfire.”

You can read the Executive Order in its entirety at here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/eo-promoting-active-management-americas-forests-rangelands-federal-lands-improve-conditions-reduce-wildfire-risk/