Sunday, May 10, 2015

Forest Service, BLM blow off Thune grandstanding

Federal agencies always coordinate prescribed burns with local and state officials while using weather models to optimize fuel treatment effectiveness.
Neither the [US] Forest Service [nor] the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) are commenting on criticism from South Dakota Republican Senator John Thune over the handling of prescribed burns in the area. But both stand by the use of controlled burns as a solid management tool – even when they get out control as was the case recently at Wind Cave National Park. While U.S. Sen. John Thune has introduced a bill that would require collaboration between federal and local officials before a prescribed burn on federal lands when fire danger is high, that concept is already in place – leaving some to wonder if the congress [member] is simply grand standing ahead of an election year. KBHB Radio
A study funded by the Forest Service shows litigation can affect local businesses and economies but the Black Hills National Forest is largely devoid of logging lawsuits because too few people care about that threatened ecosystem.

Thune is a flip flopper, most recently after overwhelming data confirms human-induced climate change.

Custer-based Wildfire Today lowered the boom on South Dakota's GOP senior US Senator.
Our position is that it is very appropriate for the legislative Branch to provide oversight of actions taken by the Executive Branch of government. However, that oversight should NOT be a knee-jerk reaction based on the quick assumptions and guesses of a Senator about what caused a particular outcome. Wait until the facts are in, THEN provide reasoned advice based on science. Politicians should take a breath, and resist the overwhelming temptation to criticize the administration of the other party before the facts are known. [excerpt, Wildfire Today]
The US Bureau of Land Management, Montana/Dakota's Lewistown office just conducted the largest prescribed fire since Statehood.
The primary goal of the burn was to reduce hazardous fuel loads and return the area to its natural 35-year fire cycle. The prescribed fire also reduced density within the area’s tree stands and cut down on juniper and conifer encroachment on surrounding rangelands. “We accomplished all of our objectives for this burn,” said Josh Barta, who served as the burn boss. “We want to reduce ladder fuels and conifer encroachment into the rangelands. If we are able to do that, then we can prevent an unnaturally severe wildfire from happening. In turn, that increases the safety of our firefighters.” [press release, BLM]
South Dakota's current GOP governor left the door ajar for the ethics-negative Thune to run for Veep but since he can't pass the vetting process New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez could be running mate for Jeb Bush, the GOP's probable choice.

Hey, John: how is heaping another layer of bureaucracy on a federal agency, whose budget is pinched already by your political party's anal retentiveness, conservative or sustainable?

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