07.08.13, 04:35 PM #1
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While mourning 19 dead firefighters, Obama administration has proposed slashing funds
The Obama administration, which will send Vice President Joe Biden to Arizona on Tuesday to mourn 19 firefighters killed in the Yarnell Hill fire, is cutting federal programs meant to control the spread of exactly that kind of catastrophic wildland fire.
For the third year in a row, the Obama administration has proposed slashing spending on hazardous fuels reduction, the federal buzzword for clearing away underbrush and smaller trees through controlled burning and cutting.
For fiscal 2014, the administration proposes cutting by another 41 percent, or $205 million, eliminating more than 1,000 jobs. These cuts will hit the Forest Service, the National Park Service and other federal land agencies.
http://investigations.nbcnews.com/_n...evention-funds"Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” -- Gen. George S. Patton
07.08.13, 06:10 PM #2
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Bush proposal cuts national forest fire prevention budget (13 Feb 2008)
From the Press Enterprise 13 February 2008
The proposed U.S. Forest Service cuts, assailed by local experts and Democratic lawmakers, came under fire during a hearing on the Bush budget proposal held Tuesday by the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior Environment and Related Agencies.
At the same Capitol Hill hearing, Agriculture Undersecretary Mark Rey, the Bush administration's official overseeing the Forest Service, said the upcoming fire season is likely to be as bad or worse than the past fire season, particularly in Southern California.
Critics say Bush's budget request for the coming fiscal year, unveiled last week, emphasizes firefighting over prevention needed to make forests healthier and nearby communities safer.
"The administration still has it backward," said Casey Judd, business manager for the Federal Wildland Fire Service Association, a firefighter employee group. "Preparedness should be the focus, not suppression."
Dicks said cutting funds that would be used to remove dead trees and cut brush is counterproductive.
"Common sense would be that if you put more money into fuel reduction, it's going to have an effect on having less severe fires," he said.
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