DNR Chief Responds to Trump's Criticism of California Fire Efforts

Jan 9, 2019

Washington Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz
Credit Washington Department of Natural Resources

Washington state Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz is commenting on President Trump’s tweet Wednesday that he may cut off FEMA funding to California for wildfires if the state doesn’t “get its act together.”

 

The president tweeted that “Billions of dollars are sent to the State of California for Forest fires that, with proper Forest Management, would never happen,” he tweeted. “Unless they get their act together, which is unlikely, I have ordered FEMA to send no more money.“

Franz issued a statement Wednesday that said, “It saddens me to see these words coming from the leader of our nation. Our friends in California need compassion and help, and abandoning people in their time of need should never be the response from our government.”

 

Franz said Trump could learn much from the collaborative approach being undertaken in Washington. She spoke about those efforts with SPR last month, in reference to the state’s wildfire plan.

 

“The 20-year forest health plan that we developed has 30 stakeholders from environment to timber and mills to help develop that plan, and has their support,” she said.

Franz went on to say that the federal government controls 57% of California's forests, and has an important role to play in restoring health to those fire-prone forests.