Ag Today August 14, 2018

Trump cabinet officials want to thin forests to prevent fire disasters

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said Monday it’s time to go on the offensive to reduce fuel loads and manage forests better to diminish the chance of future catastrophic fires.

Perdue joined Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke for a roundtable of local elected officials, law enforcement and business leaders at Karline’s Restaurant in Redding.

Both Perdue and Zinke said thinning forests and cutting trees and brush to eliminate combustible fuels also would be an economic benefit because it would bring jobs to rural communities that have been hit by rules and regulations.

“We have decimated that whole ecosystem, that economic ecosystem, by our rules and regulations, and litigation and that’s what happened,” Perdue said at the roundtable. “In years gone by, we’ve taken a very defensive posture: ‘Let’s don’t do that, we may get sued.’ Well, bring it on. I’m not scared of being sued. I was governor of Georgia for eight years, I got sued every day.”

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