The Agriculture Secretary oversees a $146 billion annual budget. Most of it – 65 percent - is allocated to food and nutrition programs that target the needy. Five percent goes to “forestry,” mainly the U.S. Forest Service and mostly – about 55 percent – to battle forest fires.
McLeod and Douglas recorded their observations in daily journals that describe miles of sparse prairie burned clear of most vegetation, punctuated by scattered groves of trees - mostly oak with some conifer, more so on the eastern slopes of the Coast Range. There was no "sea of old growth" – or even second growth.
Now that Tom Vilsack is back in the driver's seat at the Department of Agriculture, it’s time for him to stroll over to the White House and have a heart-to-heart chat with President Biden about the West’s wildfire pandemic. Here’s how it might go:
We bring you this letter by rancher Dave Daley that tells of his harrowing experience last summer when the Bear Fire struck his property and destroyed his land and cattle. We ask you read this and remember just what is at stake each day our forests go unmanaged. This letter has been split into two parts