Interior's Zinke says California fires partly due to environmentalists

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Interior Department Secretary Ryan Zinke said on Tuesday that the deadly California wildfires were partly due to lawsuits from environmentalists who have sought to stop forest management practices, such as forest thinning.

Reuters November 21, 2018 01:06:47 IST
Interior's Zinke says California fires partly due to environmentalists

Interiors Zinke says California fires partly due to environmentalists

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Interior Department Secretary Ryan Zinke said on Tuesday that the deadly California wildfires were partly due to lawsuits from environmentalists who have sought to stop forest management practices, such as forest thinning.

"Radical environmental groups that would rather burn down the entire forest than cut a single tree or thin the forest," have brought lawsuits to stop forest management, Zinke told reporters in a teleconference about the California wildfires, the deadliest in the state's history. "Yes, I do lay it on the feet," of environmentalists, he said.

Zinke did not name the groups, saying he did not want to finger point. He said other variables, such as hotter temperatures, historic drought conditions, and plenty of dead and dying trees also were also to blame.

Zinke first said environmentalists were partially to blame on Breitbart News on Sunday after visiting the California wildfire zone.

Zinke said Germany was a model of forest management. President Donald Trump said while visiting California that Finland's President Sauli Niinisto recently told him the country rarely has wildfires because "they spend a lot of time raking and cleaning and doing things" to clear the forest floor. Niinisto has said raking did not come up in his conversation with Trump.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said forest management practices need to be sped up and he hoped that U.S. agencies could get more authority under legislation.

But he said years of neglect mean it could take years for authorities to catch up to forest management, such as thinning out the fuel of dead trees and dry underbrush, and improving emergency roads.

(Reporting by Timothy Gardner; Editing by Bill Berkrot)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.