Climate change is a tricky business. Scientists consistently (and rightly) remind us that you can’t pin any individual storm or drought or hurricane on climate change – there are too many variables, and climate change is just one of them (albeit a rapidly growing one).
March 2010 marked Massachusetts' highest unemployment rate in 34 years. In a state where jobs are needed now, protecting our natural resources from climate impacts can put people to work across multiple economic sectors. Increasing average temperatures and precipitation levels in Massachusetts are leading to more storms and flooding, rising sea levels, degraded wildlands, and threats to our health.
This documents the statement of Michael Anderson, Senior Resource Analyst for The Wilderness Society, Pacific Northwest Region regarding watershed restoration before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies.
Heal the forest, clear the stream, kill the weeds and build the trails. Pay the logger, help the wildlife, fight the fire, save the mill.
"That's the way forward, is to look at our forests and our communities at the landscape level," said Scott Brennan. "That's the only way out of gridlock."
Brennan, who works with the Wilderness Society, has been meeting lately with lumbermen and economic developers and U.S. Forest Service officials, and together they've assembled an optimistic plan for restoring both forests and local economies.
A combination of forest restoration projects, creation of communities that can survive fire and aggressive fire fighting will be needed as wildfire danger increases across the country, the chief of the U.S. Forest Service said Tuesday.
… Serious wildfire years such as 2007, when more than 9 million acres burned nationwide, could soon be surpassed by seasons consuming 12 to 15 million acres, Tidwell said.
… Tidwell says forest restoration projects are crucial to thin overgrown forests and treat the landscape with prescribed fire.