Bloomberg | November 13, 2018
By Christopher Flavelle
President Donald Trump’s insistence that poor forest management by California is responsible for the state’s deadly wildfires has fueled a backlash by officials who say it is misleading and ignores the fact that most of the public woodlands in the state are federally managed.Trump’s tweet also clashed with his administration’s attempts to cut funding for forest management.
In his latest budget request, Trump asked Congress to cut the U.S. Forest Service’s funding for the national forest system by 19 percent. Some of the programs designed to reduce wildfire risk, including restoring forest landscapes and the Integrated Resource Restoration Pilot, would have been eliminated altogether.
“If you’re cutting the Forest Service budget and complaining about forest management, there’s a serious problem,” said Robert Bonnie, who was under secretary for natural resources and environment at the U.S. Department of Agriculture for President Barack Obama.