5 Comments

  1. My prognostication that the spigot will will be turned down appears to have been correct.

    Unfortunately more borrowing is possible as long as people value their homes more than research, recreation and etc.

    Now we will see if even less will be done to control fuels or more. Yes, I said more.

    If there are any remaining funds for fuel control will we be smart enough to allow those funds to leveraged by using commercial harvesting appropriately to provide some augmenting revenue and will we allow the USFS to stretch the fuels reduction funds even more by using controlled burns when and where it is appropriate instead of expensive piling and burning?

    How many national ashtrays will it take for the enviros to see that their policies based on emotion rather than science are destroying the very things that they say they wan’t to protect? How long before there isn’t anything left to destroy?

  2. A recent GAO audit found that there is still no consistent approach for fuels treatments to be strategically located, just as they found in a prior audit several years ago. In the fuels world, it’s all about widgets and burning windows. They have a target to meet, and they want to have maximum flexibility to meet it, so strategic location and cost are not really the objective. If they have a burn window, they usually do that first. If they don’t have good burn windows and they haven’t accomplished enough for the year, they then do pile burning or noncommercial thinning to meet their target. Even within an area, it is not necessary to pile and burn everything – it may only be necessary to do so near the road, but since they are measured by the acres treated and not effectiveness or cost, that doesn’t change. There is an (incorrect) assumption that the more acres treated, the better and there is a linear relationship between acres treated (or overall cost) and effectiveness. There is plenty of science to show that once you treat about 20-30% of the landscape, the slope of the line flattens out and additional investment does not buy you as much in terms of effectiveness, yet most of the Forest Service NEPA in the west right now is oriented towards treating as many acres as possible within the planning area.

    • Good info – Thank you.

      Any chance that the treatments are prioritized for those areas where humans are the most likely to cause wildfires? – Per the earlier post on 84% of wildfires being caused by humans.

        • It is going to vary – some forests have a lot of wildland urban interface and they may select project areas based on that. But some project areas have a mix of WUI and non-WUI and there may or may not be a priority on accomplishing the WUI work first.

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