California’s U.S. senators yesterday introduced their own legislative proposal to reduce the threat of wildfires to the state’s giant sequoias.
The Save Our Sequoias Act from Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Alex Padilla, D-Calif., aims to increase the pace and scale of thinning and other forest treatments to reduce the fuel loads near and within California’s sequoia groves.
The following is a statement by Kameran Onley, director of North American policy and government relations at The Nature Conservancy:
“The giant sequoia is synonymous with the grandness of the American West. It is an icon that literally stands above all, but even these giants are not prepared to withstand the devastating new normal for wildfires. Climate change and a century of fire suppression have turned these ecosystems for which normal fire is a critical part of a sequoia’s lifecycle into tinderboxes. In recent years, we have seen trees that have stood far longer than the United States has been a country succumb to these fires, and if we do not take action, more will be lost forever.
“The Nature Conservancy believes that active interventions grounded in science and designed to restore balance to these ecosystems are necessary. Any final legislation must ensure agencies have the flexibility, resources and sufficient environmental safeguards in place to accelerate this work in a responsible manner.
“We appreciate the continued bipartisan momentum for protecting our remaining giant sequoias. We look forward to working with lawmakers in both chambers to ensure a sustainable future for these icons of the West.”
The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 76 countries and territories—37 by direct conservation impact and 39 through partners—we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.