Op-Ed: Trump wants California forests cleaned - or no more money

Posted Nov 3, 2019 by Karen Graham
President Donald Trump threatened to withhold aid — one of his favored tactics — from California, claiming Governor Gavin Newsom “has done a terrible job of forest management” and has not listened to Trump’s demand that he “clean” the forest
If Trump sends enough funding to California to buy everyone a leaf-blower  the state would have clea...
If Trump sends enough funding to California to buy everyone a leaf-blower, the state would have clean forests, just like Finland.
Peter Dutton (CC BY 2.0)
“I told him from the first day we met that he must 'clean' his forest floors regardless of what his bosses, the environmentalists, DEMAND of him. Must also do burns and cut fire stoppers,” Trump said in a tweet Sunday. Actually, it was just one of many tweets from our Twitter-in-chief, much to the amusement of social media enthusiasts.
“Every year, as the fire’s rage & California burns, it is the same thing and then he comes to the Federal Government for $$$ help. No more. Get your act together Governor. You don’t see close to the level of burn in other states,” he added, reports The Hill.
Trump did commend the men and women fighting the fires that have devastated California. “Great firefighters! Also, open up the ridiculously closed water lanes coming down from the North. Don’t pour it out into the Pacific Ocean. Should be done immediately. California desperately needs water, and you can have it now!” he tweeted.
Governor Gavin Newsom fired back a response on his own Twitter account, according to Rolling Stone, telling the president, “You don’t believe in climate change. You are excused from this conversation.” Trump has long denied climate change’s threat to our planet, which scientists have been warning us for some time will cause year-round wildfires in states like California.
Ignorance is bliss
But, alas, our fearless leader is totally ignorant of what is actually going on with California's climate and that is such a shame, especially with threatening to withhold federal disaster funding over something the state really has no control over.
Even Canadians are better informed than our twitter-in-chief when it comes to California's forests. Just three percent of forest land in California is under the control of the state. The federal government owns 57 percent. About 40 percent of the state's forest are privately owned, and neither of the two major fires currently burning are on state forest land, reports CBC Canada.
And of course, last year when Trump visited what was left of Paradise in Butte County, California, in speaking with reporters, Trump pledged to work with environmental groups to “take care of the floors, you know, the floors of the forest.”
“I think everybody’s seen the light, and I don’t think we’ll have this again to this extent. We’re going to have to work quickly,” Trump said. “But a lot of people are very much — there’s been a lot of study going on over the last little while, and I will say I think you’re going to have — hopefully this is going to be the last of these because this was a really, really bad one.”
Actually, what would really be great would be for every adult in California to be supplied with a leaf blower. The federal government could pay for them and Californians could spend there leisure time cleaning the forests. Great Idea?