California Burning Thanks to Obama-era Enviromental Regulations

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG)  |  By Katy Grimes, Investigative Journalist

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - The largest wildfire burning in California has now claimed the lives of seven Redding residents, with a dozen or more missing. More than 38,000 Shasta County residents have been evacuated because of the Carr Fire.

Cal Fire estimates there are more than 300 fires burning across California as of Sunday morning. But the current CalFiremap shows 18 active fires burning and five contained.

"Since 2012, according to state emergency management officials, there has not been a month without awildfire burning — a stark contrast to previous decades, when fire officials saw the fall and winter as a time to plan and regroup," the New York Times reported about California's wildfires.

California Governor Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency, and requested help from the federal government. President Trump and Federal Emergency Management Agency granted California's request for a Presidential Emergency Declaration for Direct Federal Assistance to provide extra support.

Many are asking why there are so many fires burning again in California.

I am a California native. In my five decades in this state, wildfire "season" was limited to summer into fall, and the raging, violent explosive infernos were rare.

What's the significance of 2012? It is interesting that the New York Times mentioned the 2012 date, but only attributed the wildfire increases to "the recent historic drought," and "rising temperatures," caused by... Climate Change. Nothing could be further from the truth.

California wildfires are historically either natural occurrences, accidental equipment or auto spark started, or arson. Many Californians have been asking why the increase in wildfires in the last five years. And as the NYT pointed out, there is no longer a "wildfire season;" rather the wildfire season never seems to end. Today's non-stop wildfires are government created.

Obama-Era Eco-Terrorism Enviro Regs

Under Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, "The Obama administration finalized a rule governing the management of 193 million acres of national forests and grasslands, establishing a new blueprint to guide everything from logging to recreation and renewable energy development," the Washington Post reported in 2012. "The rule will serve as the guiding document for individual forest plans, which spell out exactly how these lands can be used."

And that's exactly what happened. The Obama-era regulations introduced excessive layers of bureaucracy that blocked proper forest management and increased environmentalist litigation and costs. This is the result of far too many radical environmentalists, government bureaucrats, leftist politicians and judicial activists who would rather let forests burn, than let anyone thin out overgrown trees, or let professional loggers harvest usable timber left from beetle kills, or even selectively cut timber. Forests are the ultimate natural renewable resource.

But now California burns 12 months of the year. If you wanted to tear a state down economically, what better way than to burn it down?

In a 2016 Townhall column, Paul Driessen explains:

"Eco-purists want no cutting, no thinning – no using fire retardants in "sensitive" areas because the chemicals might get into streams that will be boiled away by conflagrations. They prevent homeowners from clearing brush around their homes, because it might provide cover or habitat for endangered species and other critters that will get incinerated or lose their forage, prey and habitats in the next blaze. They rarely alter their policies during drought years."

"The resulting fires are not the "forest-rejuvenating" blazes of environmentalist lore. They are cauldron-hot conflagrations that exterminate wildlife habitats, roast bald eagle and spotted owl fledglings alive in their nests, boil away trout and trout streams, leave surviving animals to starve, and incinerate every living organism in already thin soils ... that then get washed away during future downpours and snow melts. Areas incinerated by such fires don't recover their arboreal biodiversity for decades."

The left does not care that homes and businesses burn down, or that people die. They do not care that deer, bunnies, snakes, raptors, bears, squirrels, bluejays, coyotes, mountain lions or wolves are incinerated by wildfires. If they did care, proper forest management would be the priority.

Government Intervention

In the early 1990's the Clinton administration embraced the Forest Stewardship Council following the Rio Earth Summit. The FSC was created "to promote environmentally sound, socially beneficial and economically prosperous management of the world's forests."

Yale 360 contributor Richard Conniff explained: FSC was to work with the timber industry "to set standards covering the conservation and restoration of forests, indigenous rights, and the economic and social well-being of workers, among other criteria. For industry, FSC certification promised not just a better way of doing business, but also higher prices for wood products carrying the FSC seal of environmental friendliness."

It was an epic fail. All industries using timber-related products were extorted into becoming "FSC Certified." Paper products, furniture, construction, cabinets, power poles, and hundreds of industries use timber. At the time I worked as the Human Resources Director for my husband's large commercial printing company. We bought a lot of paper – $10 million worth each year –  and found ourselves under pressure to achieve FSC Certification, which I knew was a scam. It was also very expensive, which made it clear that it was extortion. When my BS meter goes off, it's like a small atomic bomb.

"A quarter-century later, frustrated supporters of FSC say it hasn't worked out as planned, except maybe for the higher prices: FSC reports that tropical forest timber carrying its label brings 15 to 25 percent more at auction," Conniff reported. "But environmental critics and some academic researchers say FSC has had little or no effect on tropical deforestation."

Prior to FSC Certification, environmentalists and eco-crooks refused to acknowledge that for millennia, timber had been prized as a renewable, recyclable natural resource, and the timber industry prioritized proper care of forests.

Fast forward to the George W. Bush administration: "In June 2009, a federal judge sided with environmentalists and threw out the Bush planning rule that determines how 155 national forests and 20 national grasslands develop individual forest plans, governing activities from timber harvests to recreation and protecting endangered plants and animals. Clinton appointee, Judge Claudia Wilken of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California ruled that the Forest Service had failed to analyze the effects of removing requirements guaranteeing viable wildlife populations (Greenwire, July 1)."

By 2012, the Obama administration issued a major rewrite of all of the country's forest rules and guidelines.

In 2015, Washington D.C. District Court Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, an Obama appointee, rejected claims from a coalition of timber, livestock, and off-highway vehicle organizations that the Obama sustainability provisions in the 2012 Planning Rule would cause an economically harmful reduction in timber harvest and land use and an increase in forest fires. "Defendants Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center and Oregon Wild, represented by the Western Environmental Law Center, as well as The Wilderness Society and Defenders of Wildlife, represented by Earthjustice, argued that existing federal law provided ample authority for the Forest Service to promulgate the Planning Rule provisions, which place emphasis on ecologically sustainable forest management," Earthjustice reported.

"'Hotter, drier, longer' forest fires we are witnessing today have nothing to do with 'dangerous manmade climate change,'" Driessen said. "They have a lot to do with idiotic forestmismanagement policies and practices."

As with the Clinton administration in the 1990's, the Obama administration worked against all drilling, mining, ranching, farming, property ownership, and made it happen through the 2012 eco-terrorism regulations.

So-called environmentalists have a very narrow view of nature, not recognizing that without management, which means an appreciable amount of logging, they are actually hurting wildlife and the long term health of the forest. And now California is on fire.