McClintock Criticizes Impact Of Regulations At Natural Resources Summit
Sonora, CA — Working Together and Preventing Disaster” is the title of the 2019 Tuolumne County Alliance For Resources and the Environment (TuCare) Natural Resources Summit.
The event is being held this morning at the Mother Lode Fairgrounds in Sonora. A main purpose is to raise awareness about challenges related to natural resources and to highlight projects and solutions designed at improving forest health.
In the opening comments, TuCare’s Mike Albrecht spoke about the need for additional fuel breaks and forest thinning efforts. He stated that he feels “extreme environmental organizations” are the main culprit for declining forest health, as opposed to Congress, the US Forest Service, or other decision-makers. He referenced a lawsuit filed last month aimed at stopping cleanup efforts following the 2013 Rim Fire. It was funded by groups based outside the area, such as the Earth Island Institute, Greenpeace and Sequoia ForestKeeper.
Albrecht then praised the local Yosemite Stanislaus Solutions group which has gathered individuals from various interests and perspectives to find local solutions to forest health issues.
Congressman Tom McClintock then delivered the keynote address and argued that the forest has been managed in recent decades like an “un-attended garden.” He went on to state, “Nature is a lousy gardener.” An example he cited was last year’s Camp Fire that destroyed the town of Paradise, and he said that the landscape around Sonora is very similar. He argued that environmental regulations and policies over recent decades are best described as “benign neglect.”
McClintock highlighted a provision he helped place into the federal Tahoe Restoration Act that helped streamline the process for many environmental studies that previously took years, and now take months, in the Lake Tahoe area. He says it is a policy that needs to be expanded nationwide.
He also argued for the creation of more dams to collect water in the state so that it can be better stored, and to help prevent flooding. He added, “What’s better, abundance or shortage?”
McClintock also touted additional nuclear and hydropower as a way to reduce carbon emissions.
You can click on the video box to view some of Congressman McClintock’s opening comments.
The event is continuing with panel discussions focused on issues like “federal, state and private partnerships,” “The evidence for urgency,” and “community preparedness.” Speakers are on hand from the US Forest Service, CAL Fire, Tuolumne County, the Highway 108 Fire Safe Council, Sierra Pacific Industries, CERT and Safe Schools.