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23.2.08

Cutting Fire Funding

Since this blog is supposed to be about the stuff I actually know something about, I should at least point out a couple articles on Bush's new Forest Service budget. The budget increases funding for fighting wildfires, but cuts funding for everything else -- including wildfire preparedness and presuppression activities that reduce the incidence of big destructive fires and reduce people's vulnerability to those fires. These programs have been repeatedly cannibalized over the past in order to find fire fighting funds, so projects are already scaled back or put off. This budget may work to run out the clock on Bush's term, but it does so at the expense of the long-term health of our forests and forest-dwelling communities. Nevertheless, this seems like the kind of reactive focus on the symptoms approach that you get when someone suddenly discovers the virtues of fiscal discipline (as Bush has post-2008-SOTU) and wants to make a show of how tightfisted they are.

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