AUDIO of Zinke interview in
link ABOVE ^ or here>
Secretary Ryan Zinke: ‘Environmental Terrorist Groups’ Play Role
in Western U.S. Wildfires
Breitbart by Penne Starr, Aug 13, 2018
U.S. Department of Interior Secretary (DOI) Ryan
Breitbart News Saturday that
“environmental terrorist groups” are, in part, responsible for
the deadly wildfires in the Western United States. Wildfires
have charred hundreds of thousands of acres and caused loss of
life, including six firefighters.
Zinke said, while it is true that wildfire seasons have grown
dryer and hotter, the underlying cause of the fires themselves
is because of the “fuel load” of dead timber and other
combustible matter littering forests.
“We have been held hostage by these environmental
terrorist groups that have not allowed public access — that have
refused to allow [the] harvest of timber,” Zinke told Washington
Deputy Political Editor Amanda House on Breitbart
News Saturday on SiriusXM Patriot
This includes as many as 80 million acres of land filled with
trees that have died from beetle infections or other causes.
“This is a catastrophe and, in my opinion, a lot of it has to do
with these policies refusing to actively manage our forests,”
“We’re spending probably, this season, over $2 billion fighting
forest fires when many of them could be prevented by better
forest management techniques,” Zinke said.
“But we have these radical environmentalists that close off
roads, refuse to have firebreaks, refuse to have any timber
harvested, no grazing, and the result is these catastrophic
fires,” Zinke said.
When asked about the claims by left-wing environmental groups
and even U.S. lawmakers who blame climate change for
contributing to the fires, Zinke said that is a separate matter
from the need to manage forests to help lessen the spread of
wildfires or even prevent them.
“Whether you believe or don’t believe in climate change, it
doesn’t relieve you of the responsibility to remove the dead and
dying timber and manage our forests, so you don’t have these
burns,” Zinke said.
Zinke said it is ironic that environmental groups oppose access
to federal lands to protect wildlife habitats when mismanagement
of the land that results in fires destroys those habitats.
He also said that letting timber go to waste increases the need
— and cost — of importing lumber, resulting in added expense for
Americans who need it to build homes and other structures.
Zinke and U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue
are in California this week to meet with state officials and to
personally thank the firefighters who are battling the fires.
“It’s good to get out of Washington and actually
talk to the front line,” Zinke said.
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