Democrats on the House Resources Committee released a new report on Tuesday. Phil Taylor, a reporter with E&E, has a story out about the report and subsequent hearing. Unfortunately, E&E doesn’t have a free link to the entire story, so some snips from the story are below.
Environmental groups over the past three years have appealed less than 5 percent of projects on federal lands designed to reduce the threat of catastrophic wildfire, and, of those, less than one out of five involved endangered species issues, according to a new report from Democrats on the House Natural Resources Committee….
“Environmental laws, land management agencies, litigation, endangered species and even immigrants share the Republican blame for this year’s devastating wildfires,” Markey said. “These accusations are just a smokescreen.”
Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management data obtained by committee Democrats seemed to back up his claim.
Out of 8,000 fuel reduction projects in federal forests over the last three, less than 1 percent of all of the work was affected by appeals, according to the Democrats’ report. Endangered Species Act challenges affected less than 0.05 percent of all hazardous fuels work on roughly 10 million acres of land, the report found.
“This report shows that political fact-checkers should create a new category called ‘pants on wildfire’ for the ill-informed Republican myths on forest fire prevention,” Markey said. “When climate change is baking the country in drought and actually increasing the risks of catastrophic wildfires, these half-baked ideas from Republicans do a disservice to the people who have suffered from wildfires.”….
Democrats said the findings are consistent with a Government Accountability Office report in 2010 that found less than 20 percent of the 1,191 fuel reduction projects on about 9 million acres from 2006 to 2008 were appealed. About 2 percent of all fuel reduction projects were litigated and those involved about 124,000 acres, the report says.