This report discusses the intersection between wildfire, wildlife, climate change, and forest management. In addition, we provide policy recommendations on how to counter the growing threat of megafires in the United States.
The current crisis in wildfire and forest management has its roots in three interacting dynamics: the legacy of past forest management and fire suppression; dramatic increases in housing development in the fire-prone wildland-urban interface; and rapidly changing climatic conditions. Reducing risks from megafires will require that we address each of these underlying problems, including: scaling up efforts to tackle the massive backlog in forest restoration; encouraging more responsible and fire-wise development in wildland areas; and confronting climate change both by reducing greenhouse gases and by incorporating climate considerations in forest management and restoration. What is most urgently needed, however, is to fix the broken federal budget process for fighting wildfires.
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