Size, Growth of King Fire Leads to Criticism of Forest Management Policies

Size, Growth of King Fire Leads to Criticism of Forest Management Policies

23 September 2014

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USA — The size of the King Fire and the speed with which it has spread is leading to criticism of forest management policies.

KFBK’s Tim Lantz has that and reaction from those responsible specifically for the El Dorado Forest.

With the discovery that his home east of Pollock Pines is one of several destroyed in the flames, Tim Roffe is looking for the kind of revamping of forest service polices he says he’s been calling for over the past two years.

“It’s something that is common sense and we can’t go on just talking about it,” Roffe said.

Roffe believes environmentalists worried about clearcutting of forests are causing bad policy.

Congressman Tom McClintock is here touring the devastation and agrees.

“The environmental laws basically shut down the timber industry that was taking out the excess timber,” McClintock said.

Representative McClintock says it’s a battle for balanced policy he’s been fighting Congress for for six years.

And it’s federal law U.S. Forest Ranger Duane Nelson from Placerville says that’s preventing proper removal of excess vegetation.

“We have a fairly narrow decision space, that’s bounded by conflicting direction, conflicting laws, and we’re trying to find that space in between that is going to be acceptable,” Nelson said.

Nelson says the Forest Service can manage the forest, but he’s hoping the King Fire becomes a catalyst for collaborative decision making involving all the stakeholders in the forest.

“I hope that Mr. Roffe will bring the passion driven by his personal tragedy, bring it to the table,” Nelson said.

“They’ll be hearing from me, and I hope I hear from them,” Roffe said.

We reached out to the Sierra Club for comment on this story, but have not heard back from them.

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