Many thanks to Bill Gabbert of Wildfire Today for this one:
“Investing to increase the capacity of the federal workforce to plan for and respond to wildfire:
Riva Duncan, now retired from the Fire Staff Officer position on the Umpqua National Forest in Oregon, is scheduled to testify before Congress Thursday April 29.
The House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands, led by Chair Joe Neguse (D-Colo.), will host an oversight hearing titled Wildfire in a Warming World: Opportunities to Improve Community Collaboration, Climate Resilience, and Workforce Capacity.
The Subcommittee describes one of the topics of the hearing:
Congress and the Biden administration have an opportunity to better incorporate climate change into federal land and wildfire policies by protecting naturally resilient landscapes, prioritizing funding for community collaboration and protection, and investing to increase the capacity of the federal workforce to plan for and respond to wildfire.
Ms. Duncan is now the Executive Secretary of Grassroots Wildland Firefighters.
Other expected witnesses:
- Courtney Schultz, Associate Professor of Forest & Natural Resource Policy, Director of the Public Lands Policy Group at CSU, Department of Forest and Rangeland Stewardship, Colorado State University.
- Beverly Law, Professor Emeritus, Global Change Biology & Terrestrial Systems Science, Oregon State University
- Minority witness to be announced
1 p.m. EDT, Thursday April 29
Written testimony from the witnesses will be posted at the Committee’s website shortly before the hearing begins. Ms. Duncan’s is 13 pages long.
How to watch live:
You can watch it right here. When the hearing begins, click on the Play button on the YouTube screen below.
After the hearing is over, it should be possible to replay it above, or on YouTube.
There are many people we could consider experts on the topic of wildfire under climate change and what to do on workforce issues. I like that Neguse picked Schultz who is a social scientist; it would be interesting if more social scientists were included in, say, other hearings on science issues, say climate, for example, IMHO. Of course, they are both from Colorado, so does that have anything to do with it? Also two Oregonians. Which seems a bit odd considering all the work they do on this, and all the experts, in California. And of course, there is nothing like a retired Fed to be an expert.
Of these, Law seems the outlier to me based on her research portfolio.
This is interesting to me from a political science perspective- since I’ve always found the machinations of politics difficult to understand (yes, even when I worked on Capitol Hill). For one thing, the USDA has a comment period open until Friday on climate-smart forestry and agriculture which includes dealing with wildfire. So..is this to help with that? Are they separate efforts? Are they coordinating between legislative and executive branches? As it says, “Congress and the Biden administration have an opportunity to better incorporate climate change into federal land and wildfire policies.”
Also who would you pick, if you were the minority, to round out the panel, and why? It might already be decided, but I’m interested in what you all think and why.