In tweet, Trump indirectly voices support for local lawmakers' wildfire prevention initiatives

President Donald Trump’s tweet may have unintentionally signaled support for a pair of initiatives by two local Democratic state lawmakers.
Then-Presidential Candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Iowa on December 29, 2015. Photo by Matt A.J./Flickr Creative Commons

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pushed through a measure that requires state officials to explore new markets for timber and other forest products, citing the state’s “overly dense forests” as a contributing factor to severe wildfires. A second measure, authored by Sen. Bill Dodd of Napa, eased restrictions on some tree harvesting by creating exemptions in the Forest Practice Act to allow local land owners to remove small trees and other fuels in order to establish a defensible space around their land. Dodd’s bill also allows removes a restriction that previously prevented public agencies and non-profits from turning trees removed from some forested lands into lumber and logs. Both lawmakers’ proposals were signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown in September. It wasn’t immediately clear if Trump — who frequently uses his Twitter account to criticize people whom and positions that he disagrees with or finds unfavorable — was aware of the efforts by local lawmakers to tackle the problem he raised on Saturday. A White House press spokesperson did not return a request from the Express seeking comment. Private owners control 40 percent of forests in California; state agencies control just 3 percent. The overwhelming majority of forest lands in California — more than 50 percent  — are under federal control, mostly through the National Park Service, meaning management of those forests would fall to the federal government, not the State of California. California has been plagued by severe, destructive wildfires since the state emerged from a massive drought several years ago. The record for the most-destructive wildfire in state history set just last year was broken on Friday when the Camp Fire burning east of Chico surpassed the Tubbs Fire of 2017. Nine people have been killed and thousands of homes and businesses destroyed from the wind-whipped wildfire that obliterated the town of Paradise. Several firefighters and police officers from the Winters area were dispatched to Butte County to assist first responders during the Camp Fire. That fire and two others burning in Southern California have stretched firefighting resources in the state to the brink and are likely to cause additional financial hardships on a state that is already starting to max out on its wildfire-fighitng budget for the season.]]>

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