PNS Daily Newscast - June 26, 2019 

Mueller to testify in open session; migrant children returned to troubled detention center; plus ending the school-to-prison pipeline, and seeking justice for Native Americans killed at Wounded Knee.

Daily Newscasts

A New Approach to Fighting WA Wildfires

March 10, 2008

Seattle, WA – It's probably going to cost more to camp or hike on federal land this year, as the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management raise usage fees, mostly to cover the skyrocketing cost of fighting wildfires. But a new bill in Congress proposes a different approach.

The "FLAME" Act would create a federal fund to be used only for the largest and most dangerous wildland fires. Jaelith Hall-Rivera, a wildfire policy analyst for The Wilderness Society, says one percent of the fires burn 95 percent of the acreage, so it makes sense to plan for the biggest blazes.

"A change in the way we think about federal fire management is critical –- and funding suppression differently, as this bill proposes, is a key step in the right direction."

Hall-Rivera says the federal agencies' budgets have been flat for so long that they're neglecting the basics. She believes the bill would help get them back on track.

"They'll be able to invest funds in trails management, campground maintenance, fish and wildlife habitat –- the things they have been largely unable to do in the past few years."

The Forest Service now spends more than $1 billion a year, or almost half of its budget, on firefighting. Washington Congressman Norm Dicks is a cosponsor of the Federal Land Assistance, Management and Enhancement (FLAME) Act, which was introduced last week.

Chris Thomas, Public News Service - WA