AGRICULTURE/ENVIRONMENT/INTERIOR/NATURAL DISASTERS/TRUMP EXECUTIVE ORDERS: “By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:
Section 1. Policy. It is the policy of the United States to protect people, communities, and watersheds, and to promote healthy and resilient forests, rangelands, and other Federal lands by actively managing them through partnerships with States, tribes, communities, non-profit organizations, and the private sector. For decades, dense trees and undergrowth have amassed in these lands, fueling catastrophic wildfires. These conditions, along with insect infestation, invasive species, disease, and drought, have weakened our forests, rangelands, and other Federal lands, and have placed communities and homes at risk of damage from catastrophic wildfires.
Active management of vegetation is needed to treat these dangerous conditions on Federal lands but is often delayed due to challenges associated with regulatory analysis and current consultation requirements. In addition, land designations and policies can reduce emergency responder access to Federal land and restrict management practices that can promote wildfire-resistant landscapes. With the same vigor and commitment that characterizes our efforts to fight wildfires, we must actively manage our forests, rangelands, and other Federal lands to improve conditions and reduce wildfire risk.
In recognition of these regulatory, policy, and coordinating challenges, the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture (the Secretaries) each shall implement the following policies in their respective departments:
(a) Shared Management Priorities. The goal of Federal fire management policy for forests, rangelands, and other Federal lands shall be to agree on a set of shared priorities with Federal land managers, States, tribes, and other landowners to manage fire risk across landscapes.
(b) Coordinating Federal, State, Tribal, and Local Assets. Wildfire prevention and suppression and post-wildfire restoration require a variety of assets and skills across landscapes. Federal, State, tribal, and local governments should coordinate the deployment of appropriate assets and skills to restore our landscapes and communities after damage caused by fires and to help reduce hazardous fuels through active forest management in order to protect communities, critical infrastructure, and natural and cultural resources.
(c) Removing Hazardous Fuels, Increasing Active Management, and Supporting Rural Economies. Post-fire assessments show that reducing vegetation through hazardous fuel management and strategic forest health treatments is effective in reducing wildfire severity and loss. Actions must be taken across landscapes to prioritize treatments in order to enhance fuel reduction and forest-restoration projects that protect life and property, and to benefit rural economies through encouraging utilization of the by-products of forest restoration.
Sec. 2. Goals. (a) To protect communities and watersheds, to better prevent catastrophic wildfires, and to improve the health of America’s forests, rangelands, and other Federal lands, the Secretaries shall each develop goals and implementation plans for wildfire prevention activities and programs in their respective departments.“
-Donald Trump, “EO on Promoting Active Management of America’s Forests, Rangelands, and other Federal Lands to Improve Conditions and Reduce Wildfire Risk,” whitehouse.gov, Dec. 21, 2018
[Note: Read the full Executive Order signed by Donald Trump.]