Since he doesn’t preach the gospel of climate change, President Donald Trump’s threat to slash federal wildfire funding was dismissed by California Gov. Gavin Newsom.
“You don’t believe in climate change. You are excused from this conversation,” the Democratic governor said in a Sunday tweet.
Newsom was responding to a series of tweets in which Trump said the governor was doing a “terrible job of forest management” amid the devastating wildfires in California.
“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,” Trump tweeted.
The president added: “Every year, as the fires 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.”
Democrats have claimed without evidence that man-made climate change is largely responsible for California’s catastrophic wildfires.
California Democrat Sen. Kamala Harris tweeted at Trump: “Raking leaves is as effective at combatting the climate crisis as your phone’s spellcheck is at fixing your tweets. @GavinNewsom is doing his job. Maybe you should try it.”
Republicans say federal and state regulations and environmental groups which hold significant sway with Newsom’s administration are impeding the ability of forest managers to thin the woods and clear dead and dying trees.
Valerie Richardson noted in a Nov. 4 report for The Washington Times that about 58 percent of California’s 33 million forested acres are owned and managed by the federal government, far more than the 3 percent owned by the state, “but the state land has also burned at a higher rate than the federal land.”
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said in a February report that California faces a “massive backlog of forest management work,” while the Legislative Analyst’s Office found in April 2018 that the department spends 90 percent of its budget on firefighting versus 7 percent on forest management.