Trump offers more water for California wildfires, but critics say it’s a stunt

Jerry Brown steals water from farmers, businesses and families—and the media says, great.  President Trump GIVES us water to fight fires—caused by government policies—and he is wrong, per the media and Brown.  Why are the environmentalists and Democrats opposed to Trump providing fire fighting water?  He is making them look bad.

“Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross directed the National Marine Fisheries Service to allow for redirecting water set aside in California for endangered species protection to be used for fighting wildfires.

Ross said the wildfires represent an emergency, allowing agencies to bypass protections of wildlife under the Endangered Species Act.

“Protection of life and property takes precedence over any current agreements regarding the use of water in the areas of California affected by wildfires,” Ross said.

Environmentalists and water experts said the move smacks of political posturing, since Ross appears to be acting in response to a pair of much-criticized tweets from President Trump this week, in which he said California wildfires “are being made so much worse by the bad environmental laws which aren’t allowing massive amount of readily available water to be properly utilized.”

Glad to see another win for Trump—he is showing that the Democrats hate blacks, Hispanics, women, jobs and now forests.  When will the media start telling the truth?

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Trump offers more water for California wildfires, but critics say it’s a stunt

by Josh Siegel, Washington Examiner,  8/8/18

The Trump administration issued a directive Wednesday to allow California easier access to water to fight wildfires. But state officials, and firefighters, say more water isn’t helpful, and some observers and environmentalists are calling the move a political stunt.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross directed the National Marine Fisheries Service to allow for redirecting water set aside in California for endangered species protection to be used for fighting wildfires.

Ross said the wildfires represent an emergency, allowing agencies to bypass protections of wildlife under the Endangered Species Act.

“Protection of life and property takes precedence over any current agreements regarding the use of water in the areas of California affected by wildfires,” Ross said.

Environmentalists and water experts said the move smacks of political posturing, since Ross appears to be acting in response to a pair of much-criticized tweets from President Trump this week, in which he said California wildfires “are being made so much worse by the bad environmental laws which aren’t allowing massive amount of readily available water to be properly utilized.”

“This is an attempt by the Trump administration to side run environmental protection by pretending it will help fight the wildfires,” Peter Gleick, president emeritus of the Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment, and Security, told the Washington Examiner. “It won’t. There’s no shortage of water.”

Kate Poole, senior director of the water division of the Natural Resources Defense Council, wrote in a Twitter post Wednesday: “Unbelievable. Now the Trump Admin is proposing to weaken ESA protections on salmon to provide water for fires THAT ISN’T NEEDED.”

Trump, in a tweet Monday, said that California officials are allowing water to “foolishly [be] diverted into the Pacific Ocean.”

The president appears to refer to the long-running controversy over diversion of water away from people in Northern California in order to provide a habitat to preserve endangered fish species. California’s State Water Resources Control Board voted in July to allocate more of the state’s water for preserving fish populations, such as the Chinook salmon.

Some Republicans in Congress have called for a larger water allocation for farmers in California’s Central Valley, which has suffered from drought.

But Trump is suggesting that this would make the water more available to fight 17 wildfires raging across California, including the state’s largest fire ever. State officials say water access is not a problem for California’s firefighting efforts. Hotter and drier weather from climate change is what’s making the fires worse, Gov. Jerry Brown and others say.

And water is not even the primary means to fight wildfires.

Firefighters do use water as a secondary resource to put out wildfires. But mainly, firefighters extinguish wildfires by building fire lines around them to contain their spread.

Firelines are circular boundaries that firefighters create by using bulldozers to clear away all living material, such as brush, that can fuel more fire. Officials scrap down the boundary area so that there’s just bare dirt left. They get rid of this flammable material by lighting controlled fires.

About Stephen Frank

Stephen Frank is the publisher and editor of California Political News and Views. He speaks all over California and appears as a guest on several radio shows each week. He has also served as a guest host on radio talk shows. He is a fulltime political consultant.