Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke acknowledges role of climate change in wildfires

Federico Mansilla
Agosto 19, 2018

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on the wildfires in California, the debate over climate change and the federal budget. "This has to do with active forest management", Zinke said.

Zinke also said that while "there's no dispute" that climate is changing, fewer trees would restore health to the forest. He also blamed environmental groups for adding to the problem.

The Trump administration is pledging to work more closely with state and local officials to prevent wildfires and fight those choking California and other western states.

"We have been held hostage by these environmental terrorist groups that have not allowed public access - that have refused to allow [the] harvest of timber", Zinke told Breitbart Monday.

"Whether you're a global warmist advocate or denier, it doesn't make a difference when you have rotting timber, when housing prices are going up. yet we are wasting billions of board feet" of timber that could go to local lumber mills, he said.

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Yosemite National Park's scenic, Northern California valley reopened Tuesday after a 20-day, smoked-forced closure, and hundreds of people were evacuated from Glacier National Park in Montana after a wildfire destroyed at least nine homes and cabins in one of the park's historic districts.

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said the current crisis underscores the importance of preventing wildfires.

On Sunday, Zinke said that the wildfires had "nothing to do with climate change" in an interview with local news station KCRA. The plan emphasizes collaboration between state and federal agencies. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., "and we have to meet it with a very, very aggressive response" that includes drones, satellites and other technology.

Perdue and other officials said the focus on prevention could save money, noting that federal wildfire costs approached a record $3 billion past year.

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