What is HEALTHY FORESTS INITIATIVE? What does HEALTHY FORESTS INITIATIVE mean?
- Published on Feb 10, 2019
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What is HEALTHY FORESTS INITIATIVE? What does HEALTHY FORESTS INITIATIVE mean? HEALTHY FORESTS INITIATIVE meaning - HEALTHY FORESTS INITIATIVE definition - HEALTHY FORESTS INITIATIVE explanation.
Source: Wikipedia.org article, adapted under creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ license.
The Healthy Forests Initiative (or HFI), officially the Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003 (P.L. 108-148), is a law proposed by President George W. Bush. Its stated intent is to reduce the threat of destructive wildfires. The law seeks to accomplish this by allowing timber harvests on protected National Forest's land. The law streamlined the permitting process for timber harvests in National Forests by adding new categorical exclusions to the National Forest Service's list of categorical exclusions from the environmental impact assessment process.
Supporters of the law contend that this will reduce wildfire risk by thinning overstocked stands, clearing away vegetation and trees to create shaded fuel breaks, providing funding and guidance to reduce or eliminate hazardous fuels in National Forests, improving forest fire fighting, and researching new methods to halt destructive insects. To proponents, much of the basis for the law revolves around the overcrowding of forests due to the suppression of low intensity fires. The resulting buildup of ground fuels and trees is thought to have increased the size and severity of wildfires in the United States.
Detractors of the law contend that the bill opens previously protected forest areas to logging, often unnecessarily or under false pretense. Disagreement exists concerning the role of private logging companies in thinning stands and clearing fire-breaks. The HFI also requires that communities within the "wildland urban interface" create "community wildfire protection plans." Community wildfire protection plans designate areas adjacent to communities that should be thinned so that crown fires will not directly burn into communities.
The Bush administration claims broad support for HFI, stating on the official website: "The Administration and a bipartisan majority in Congress supported the legislation and are joined by a variety of environmental conservation groups." This statement ignores the opposition to HFI by conservation groups such as the Sierra Club, the Natural Resources Defense Council, The Wilderness Society, and the John Muir Project. Supporters include the Society of American Foresters, local fire protection agencies, and a number of hunting and fishing advocacy groups.
In March 2006, it was reported in the news section of the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology that timber interests created a front group called Project Protect to help pass the Healthy Forests legislation.
Proponents of HFI believe that high intensity fires in the Western United States have increased in intensity and size in recent years. This is largely a result of fire suppression, which has created a buildup in fuels and ladder fuels, as well as climate change. Supporters believe this act may be able to simplify the NEPA process for projects which are meant to reduce the susceptibility of National forests to forest fires; reducing the risk of conflagrations that endanger human lives, destroy valuable forests, and can reduce the quality of habitat for late seral wildlife species.....