tv Carole King and Others Testify on Forest Management CSPAN April 5, 2022 5:19pm-6:36pm EDT
enforcement personnel there. so that is completed now. also committed to sending our director for law enforcement out to meet with the locals there. that meeting has been set up and i believe it's somewhere around april. that is in motion. we now have six law enforcement personnel there on that unit. >> well, thank you very much. look forward to working with you in the future. i yield back. >> chief moore, thank you for coming here today and your testimony and thank you for your continued leadership on this important issue. the first panel is now excused and we will pause for a moment while we get the second panel ready. >> thank you, chairman. >> thank you.
now i would like to introduce the second panel of witnesses. the first witness will be all amed rev night with a traditional ecological >> i would like to introduce our second panel of witnesses. our first witness is a traditional ecological knowledge practitioner and tribal member. our second is a chief scientist of earth island institute. our third witness is associate professor of mechanical engineering university of california berkeley. our fourth witness is carole
king, singer/songwriter and land conservation advocate. finally we have james hubbard, a former undersecretary for national resources at the department of agriculture. the witnesses will all be unmuted so we can swear them in. please raise your right hand. do you swear or affirm the testimony you're about to give is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you god? your recognized for your testimony. >> good morning. >> good morning.
i'm a basket weaver, mother of five and an ecological practitioner. i was born in falls church, virginia, not too far from the capital but i am indigenous to california, which is the number one economy in the whole united states and the fifth largest economy in the entire world. northern california tribes rarely get credit for their role in this very successful economy, but every bit of value from the soil, water, timber, real estate and california's beautiful landscape is built on the backs of thousands of years of our ancestral presence here. ecosysm after 40 million years the sierra nevada resilience for volcanos, floods, droughts and wildfires. for 40 million years since the sierra nevada mountains were created, california's ecosystems
have been defined by extreme destruction. there will always be fire on this landscape. you're have a little bit or fire or a lot of fire, but you never have no fire. over thousands of years tribed learned how to live in this place using fire and harvesting and cultivating plants. we have learned there is good fire and good smoke, bringing water in the form of rain and sequestered carbon in the soil that make healthy plants. in just 180 years colonial destruction in california have created a monopoly on water, land and plants as commodity. over 33 million acres of forest in california, 19 million are
federal forests. 70% of wildfires burn on federal lands costing billions of dollars in damages and disaster aid. so in 2018, campfire that destroyed paradise, california, started -- he was paid by the federal government to kill over 300 natives in this area. now his name bears the legacy of 86 people killed at the campfire. the irony is the ignorance of this legacy. most people do not know the history of this name or the ecosystem and conditions that led to this destruction. apocalyptic wildfires spreading in california forests and every single fire burned on unceded tribal territory is a well
documented -- of native lands that gave timber industry power to reshape the ecosystem. they are producing vast amount of timber lands in california and in tribal territory. what they do is they create a lot of density of forest with a very few species of plants. this is compromising not only the safety of the provisions of care for well-being of tribal citizens but this is also united states citizens also at risk. as major disasters take place in tribal territories and in federal lands, we now have an opportunity, nation to nation, to invest in long-term land management. these projects can positively impact the environment but also
positively impact the economics in america. tribal nations are sovereign governments and federally recognized entities that are able to create workforce and employment on federal lands. when tribes have the ability to restore lands around them through long-term stewardship contracting, the results are outstanding. indigenous methods have objectives to cultivate biodiversity, which is the presence of many species of plants and insects and birds that work together in an ecosystem. from a climate change perspective, biodiversity is an insurance policy for resilience. if one species is impacted another will step up and take its place to keep the ecosystem going. contracting today and so-called
forestry was not allow for biodiversity. there's a high density of trees. this creates wildfire problems over and over. tribes must have self-determination of reforestation. our california oak woodlands are unique to the world, adapted to fire, floods and drought. they hold an economy of food, seed and carbon that make their value superior to any mono crop timber forest. in northern california, 98% of the oak forests have been removed for the timber industry. we are still here certified and trained to restore healthy forests. we can have a huge opening in rural communities that suffer from lack of employment and education. shrubs
thank you. >> thank you very much. now i would like to recognize dr. dellasola. >> i'm a survivor of the 2020 alameda fire that destroyed half my downtown area of talent, oregon on the california/oregon border. i bring direct experience living with wildfire and a professional background of over 300 science publications, books on climate change, wildfires and biodiversity. my main message to you today is you're not hearing all the facts. recent increases in wildfire activity are driven by extreme drought, hot temperatures and high winds caused by climate change. the left side of the graph is the early part of the last century when it was hot and dry. notice the amount of fire activity. the middle of the graph is mid
century. there was a cooldown period globally at the same time thousands if not millions of homes were being built in unsafe territory. the right side shows how climate change has been heating up the planet and the western part of the united states, resulting in greater fire activity at the same time we now have over 40 million homes built in unsafe terrain because they believed the forest service could put out all fires which they were doing during the mid part of last century during the cooldown. that is no longer the case. this graph shows money that is being spent that is not contributing to the solution, but is contributing to the problem. so both acres burning and expenditures in fire suppression are increasing because the approach is to focus on the effect, fire, and not the cause, climate change.
these next slides are really going to tell you the story of what's going on in the woods. you did not hear that from the chief today. you will not hear that from the minority witness. what's really happening is not some benign activity of removing material off the landscape. these are large trees marked in the blue paint that you see there, the most fire resistant materials in those forests are being logged to pay for the removal of small trees. that's increasing the fire hazard, not lowering it. the slide on the right are big trees taken from a post fire salvage operation. all of that carbon that was in those trees for centuries will be released to the atmosphere, causing more of the problems that you saw in that last graph. the slides on the bottom of the next slide please -- what you
see is a forest on the left in the santa fe watershed. what you see on the right are so-called restoration treatments. those are no longer forests. they're weed invested fields that are going to burn hot. the soil's been damaged by burning piles. the large trees have been taken off the site. the fire hazards have gone up. this is commercial timber operations on federal land. it's not some benign restoration treatment. it's making the situation worse. i want to switch to this next slide because this is my hometown. it took a day to devastate 3,000 structures in my hometown, a day. that fire had nothing to do with lack of thinning. it went structure to structure. i lost friends' homes, businesses that i had frequented for over 20 years because all the money was being spent in the back country on logging when the
problem was these communities are not prepared for the new climate abnormality that we're in pop -- these are structure to structure fires. the only science we should be doing is home hardening and defensible space. that's what will get these communities ready, not logging in the back country. i heard a lot about 70% of the fires on national forests. that might be true. however, the recent study at oregon state university showed that most of the fires impacting homes and towns like mine are spilling over from private lands, not federal lands. it's because private lands have industrial logging that interacts with extreme fire weather that then spills over and causes the kinds of problems that you're concerned about. i want to close with what i think really needs to happen here. first and foremost we've got to
redirect more resources to home hardening and defensible space. that's what will help communities like mine prepare for the eventuality of fire. we're not going to shut the fire spigot off. we have to treat the root cause, climate emissions, carbon pollution contributed to a large part by commercial logging, which is the kind of activities that are increasingly being funded to do the work that the forest service did not tell you about. this is not some benign treatment. it's increasing carbon pollution. we're in a climate and a biodiversity crisis. we have very little time to solve this problem. one of the ways you could solve it is more carbon in natural ecosystems, old forests. there's a lot of concern about whether we don't have enough
management in our forests and whether that's contributing to the more severe fires. what you see on the right side of that figure -- and this is the largest study ever done on this question -- is that the areas that had the most logging burned in the highest fire intensities. that's what you see in the red bar on the right. on the left are protected areas like national parks, wilderness areas. they have lower amounts of high severity fire. it's because those industrial log landscapes have left fuels on the ground, the most flammable part of the trees, the branches, the twigs. the least flammable, the large trees have been taken off the landscapes. that's what's giving you these big fires. you're not going to hear that from the forest service or the minority witness today. thank you. >> dr. gullner, you are now
recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman and distinguished members of the committee. thank you for the opportunity to appear today to discuss opportunities for future wildfire disasters in our community. i'm an associate professor of mechanical engineering at the university of california berkeley. i run the berkeley fire research laboratory. i have a particular interest in fires that move into the wild land urban interface where these fires spread from vegetation into our community. i will discuss the causes of our current crisis as well as solutions we have available to safeguard our communities and preserve our natural land. these opinions expressed in my m testimony are my own and don't necessarily represent the views of the university of california. we've seen a dramatic increase in the frequency and severity of destructive wildfires, live
lost, communities destroyed. large populations are affected by wildfires by health effects. however, wildfires are a natural process that have occurred across our landscapes for millennia. indigenous peoples used fires as an important tool. in the early 1900s -- by suppressing every small fire we left a massive buildup of fuel that has led to more severe wildfires in the long-term. climate change further exacerbated this crisis creating prolonged droughts and is only projected to get worse. an increasing number of residents are now threatened during these events. while wildfires will always
occur, wildfire disasters are preventible when the right strategies are applied before a fire begins. focusing on better management of our landscape including adding prescribed fire and allowing some fires to burn under mild conditions will lower the intensity of fires our communities are exposed to. there's always some risk from a fire, even under controlled conditions. without this, we'll be forced to contend only with the most extreme fire events on our landscape. while fuels management is a critical practice necessary to preserve our forest, this alone is not sufficient to prevent disasters. we must work to make it harder for these fires to spread into and within urban areas. the marshall fire burned through grass in the middle of winter and still destroyed over 1,000
homes, highlighting this is not solely a forest management problem. modifications to homes can be made to prevent embers, such as screens on vents, noncombustible building materials. this is often called hardening. defensible space can also help fires from getting close enough to structures and give firefighters a safe place to protect those structures as a fire approaches. our understanding of how fire spreads into communities is improving, but there are still many unanswered questions. small flying embers have been recognized by investigations as key mechanisms of spread from wildfires to the communities. much of this understanding is still in its infancy. from sprinklers to home spacing, we know there could be more improvements here but struggle to quantify the best designs possible.
most deaths occur while people are evacuating fires. however, little attention has been paid to evacuation and notification. despite the incredible importance of this research, the u.s. still lacks the necessary infrastructure to test buildings against wildfire exposure. dedicated research facilities and interagency coordination are still needed in this area. if we can develop minimally invasive ways to retrofit structures, we could potentially make a widespread change, saving lives while minimizing costs. implementing these on a broad scale is a challenge that takes extensive cooperation between residents, first responders, private industry and public policy makers. federal grants and support could play a large role in increasing these programs. thank you, mr. chairman.
>> thank you very much. ms. king, you are recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman, madam chair, ranking member normal and mr. gibbs. i'm a 44-year resident of idaho. for 38 years i lived in a rural county where my nearest neighbor was a national forest. i've been an advocate for the northern rockies ecosystem protection act for 32 years because it was bold and visionary in protecting species and habitat on a large scale. later i learned that a forest also stores carbon, which is what we need to solve the climate crisis and address fires. so it is also a climate solution. coal, oil and gas get a lot of attention, but logging is also a huge emitter of carbon.
taxpayers have been subsidizing clear cutting in our national forests under multiple presidents from both parties for decades. it's institutional. the forest service loses nearly $2 billion a year on timber sales. yet they continue to facilitate felling mature trees under the guise of or wellian euphemisms, thinning, salvage, management and the ever popular restoration. i learned a new one today, fuel breaks. in the united states annual emissions from logging are compare to believe the amount emitted from coal. and most commercial logging is now mechanized. so it's not about jobs, because a single operator of heavy equipment caused a feller
buncher can saw through a living tree, strip the branches and set the former tree on a pile of logs in little more than the time it took me just to tell you this. note the size of the big trees and the trees in the slides. they're not thinning. before the infrastructure law was enacted, more than 200 independent scientists, independent, wrote a letter asking house committee chairs to remove the logging provisions from that law. their data led them to write that thinning can often increase fire intensity while protected forests are more likely to lower the intensity should a fire occur. when humans manage a forest, they often clear cut, leaving the unprofitable parts to dry
out. clear cuts are tinderboxes. you can see that on the slide. logging emits eight times more co2 per acre than the combination of wildfire and insects combined. forest degradation accelerates climate change. yes, wildfires are getting worse, not because we have too many trees, but because of extreme climate driven weather events accelerated by removal of trees. trees store carbon. independent scientists not funded by the forest service or a company that profits from logging tell us that the most effective way to protect homes is to harden them with fire resistant materials and create defensible space. when other scientists promote removing trees beyond 100 feet from a home or a community,
which logging companies do, the headline becomes scientists disagree. this confuses the public. let me clear up the confusion. when a scientist tells you that the solution is to remove even more trees from our national forests, look for who is paying that scientist. i'm asking congress to do four things. pass nuripa, pass incentivizing preservation over timber sales, repeal the logging provisions in the infrastructure law, allocate some of that money to help people harden homes and use the rest to help american families. look, i know it's not easy to overcome decades of timber industry influence, money and misinformation. but our kids and grandkids are
calling us to action. we need to take action. i want to thank the subcommittee for the chance to educate members and the public. if you don't know, now you know. thank you. >> thank you, ms. king. i now want to recognize undersecretary hubbard for your testimony. >> yes. thank you, mr. chairman. >> go ahead. >> i will. thank you, mr. chairman and members of the committee. i'm here today as a retired individual, so i'm only representing myself. i'm only offering you what i learned over 50 years of dealing with these issues.
you're hearing a lot of perspectives on the issue, a lot of different elements of the issue. all of that factors into the decisions that need to be made. when i try to approach what can be done, what is reasonable, it comes down to what's driving this. well, what is driving it is clearly the forest condition. it is a major factor. yes, it's complicated by the weather, less precipitation, the higher temperature, the lower humidities. that's something we are experiencing. but during my time working, i would debrief the 17 type one incident commanders each year that when out to fight fires. type one was our highest level.
these are individuals that have 25-30 years of experience at this. what has been happening over the last ten years is during those debriefings, i would hear from them we've never seen anything like this before. so things have changed. what can we do about it? there's a lot of things that could contribute to it but what can the forest service, what can the land management agencies do about it? change the condition. i advocate requiring active management. there are all kinds of forms of active management and choices to be made as to what options you pick. i also believe in the science that is available, that we can change fire behavior by changing the forest condition. i think what we do and where we
do it is important. those are decisions that have to be made in a collaborative way. i don't think the forest service or any agency should make those decisions on their jurisdictions by themselves. the scale of this problem is across the landscape. yes, defensible space near a community is important, hardening the community is important. i don't know what the forest service can do about some of that, because it's not on federal land. so everybody has to be a player in this if it's going to be successful. fire spreads often times from the forest to near the community to within the community and home to home. so it's everybody that's involved in those jurisdictions. and i would advocate those jurisdictions have to collaborate and they have to have a unified approach that they all agreed to.
that won't happen everywhere. a lot of times the disagreements will lead to we're not ready for this. if they're not ready for this, there's not a lot of change that can be accomplished. what congress has provided over the the years is increments of policy that contributed to a solution. the infrastructure bill provided an influx of funding that gave a shot in the arm to the forest service. the forest service has now developed a plan that the chief described as to how they're going to go forward in implementing this. prioritization and strategic long term has to be a part of that. where people are ready to address the risk and where they can address the risk -- which is not everywhere -- there are places on the land that we won't touch with active management activity. we may touch it with the use of
fire like it in the wilderness so all kinds of options. but those have to be chosen and everybody has to agree what those are. i thank you for letting the appear, and i'm happy to discuss anything i said, and what i didn't say. >> thank you, under secretary herbert, for your testimony. i now recognize myself for five minutes of questioning. to make up for decades of overaggressive fire suppression and the effects of fire climate change on the u.s. forests, the first of resentment of interior carry out prescribed burns and sending treatments to reduce the amount of combustible fuel in forests. doctor dellasala, you testified that locking projects can affect wildfire severity. you also heard chief moore's
testimony that he was saying they don't really remove the big trees in ways that are harmful. what do you say in terms of the thin -- are they doing it consistent with the science? or is it your view that they are doing certain things that are making the situation worse? >> yeah, thank you for that question. i guess to simplify my response i would say this. the forest service has been in charge of a lot of this research. this would be like putting the coal industry in charge of climate change research. this would be like putting the tobacco industry in charge of long cancer research. they cherry-pick the data, they don't provide any kind of research that disagrees with their position -- normally that's shunted aside, that's not considered. they do what's called category all exclusions which bypass
nrepa they don't get protections of those big trees, get large swaths of so-called hazardous to remove a long long roads, salvage operations, which take out those big trees you saw in my photos after fire, all that carbon eventually goes to the atmosphere. they don't protect the big trees. then it's hardly ever described as what it really means. it's not defined. active management can mean anything. it can mean anything, by passing nrepa, by passing the invasive species act, bypassing the clean water act. these are not the benign activities. i wish they were. i wish they were targeting the small trees that mr. norment referred to as that. but that's not really what happens in these so-called thinning operations. they take the most fire resistant large trees to pay for the timber sale. and they have to come back every ten or 15 years because the vegetation grows back. and so they don't do that. because they can't pay for the timber sale, because they took
out the big tweet in the first go around. so i just want to emphasize that what the forest service is doing is making this situation worse. they are as bad as the coal industry, is making our climate worse. because a lot of what the chief was talking about, new markets, refer to biomass utilization of the small material. and we know that a lot of those biomass plants in the southeast, for instance, are located down the airsheds of communities of color, of disadvantaged people, of people that have health problems. you talk a lot about smoke. a real problem with that small material is being manufactured into bio pellets that are burnt and so call clean energy. and it's collecting down airshed people of color in the south that are having to deal with increased pollution in there airsheds as a benign thinning activity. so i really don't think you're
getting the full picture from what you heard today. >> thank you. doctor gollner, i want to bring you in. do you believe that there is any harm caused when anything removes large trees? and if so, what is that harm? and then, because my time is running out, i just want miss king to explain where -- you know, miss king, you know you have so many things you have done, where does your passion for this issue comes from? and can you talk about the importance for communities and homes to invest in defensible space for wildfires? i maybe we'll have doctor gollner and then miss king. >> thank you, chairman. i would start by saying, you know, i'm not a forestry expert in the field. but what i understand from fire behavior as a fire behavior expert that we are primarily interested in removing i believe as the representative said earlier, that that, and
the smaller fuels on the ground. those are the fields that are often called ladder fuels, which then spread fires into the ground and increased fire behavior. and it's these smaller fuels that often provide fire behavior. and so a great way to remove them is often prescribed burning. they may be some mechanical means necessary to get a forest in a state to wear a prescribed burn can be introduced. and that's what the tools, the tool box, that scientists research and that fire managers and forest service need to consider. i believe as it was said earlier here, a large number of scientists at the [inaudible] forest service, department of interior and elsewhere that work on these problems and have a range of advice. i am a little disturbed by what we saw in some of the early photos, and that simply doesn't represent the type of forest management that i would envision as being good. we want to remove those smaller fuels that are driving fire behavior. thank you. >> thank you. miss king? >> i'm not sure which button. i guess this is the button.
okay! you asked about how i got my passion for this. as i mentioned, i lived right next to a wild forest. it was not protected at the time, it is. now as wilderness, as part of the build -- i don't know what it was called, i think the boulder white clouds wilderness bill and, i don't live there anymore -- but for 38 years, i got to observe natural forest processes. and one of the things that was mentioned was the insects. when i lived there, a lot of the time, i don't remember what year is, but the point bark beetle turned hole hillsides into what we called great trees, because the needles were dead and, you know, they appeared gray. and they were -- nobody took them out, nobody did anything with them. they sort of fell down but they provided so much habitat for woodpeckers, for the, you know,
for the beatles, which with other, which other species eight. i got to see so many species interact. and that became really important to me. as far as fires, we didn't know at the time, where i lived on the ranch, where i live, it was log cabins. we didn't know about defensible space. but we created it anyway. it was in a common sense we created it around the homes. but we didn't need to go into the forest and doctor dellasala speaks about the sides, but from personal experience, the forest has taken care of itself for so long. and when you talk about managing a forest, that's a euphemism for locking. they go in and they take these trees. all these euphemisms, deal with, you know, how they can persuade the public that is good and right. >> thank you, miss king. now i want to recognize our ranking member, ranking member
norman, for your five minutes of question thank you, chairman. thank you to each one of you. i enjoyed our meeting yesterday. i see your passion. miss king, you mentioned hardening of the houses. what is the cost of that, do you know? >> i don't. i don't. i'm about to do some of it, but i don't know. i'm going to replace my roof. i live in town now, but the roof has a cedar shake. it's made of she cedar shakes. so it's pretty expensive and some people who live in the wild land urban interface can afford it, some can't. and that's why i'm saying instead of paying, you know, so the timber companies can go in and log, allocate some of that money to so what help folks who need that money. >> you would recommend, i'm asking do you recommend the taxpayers to pay for the hardening of the private houses? >> where it's in communities where they don't have the resources to do it, yes i think that would be appropriate. and you could've rearouse a
funds from that are going to subsidize logging. >> okay, your against any kind of logging. >> i'm not against any kind, i used to be, like go ahead and log in the multiple use areas of the forest. but now that we have had a car but climate crisis i don't think we should log in our national forests. we can tell people what to do on private land, they're going to do it, that's fine. and there's plenty of it, too. but in our national forests, we need to preserve them. >> okay. the logging industry is a, we have houses being build out of wood. we have paper being manufactured because of wood. the logging, federal lands have got great trees they can be thinned they can be used. other than just letting it go and, i understand your opinion. mr. dellasala, you mentioned yesterday that the planet has
12 years, and my, right to exist? would you expand on that? >> i >> don't think i said to exist but i enjoyed our visit yesterday, by the way, thank you for taking the time. what i said was the latest study, studies that were published by the inter governmental panel on climate change gave us a accelerated warning. they said that time was running short. we had about ten years to transition out of burning fossil fuels into clean renewable energy in order to keep the parts per million in the atmosphere of carbon dioxide as close to 350 million. so if you think of that as kind of the safety net, 3:50 is what most scientists are saying. that's where we need to be. we're out about 417 right now. so where this far off that safety net. the further away we get from that, the more extreme we're going to see climate change events.
including super hurricanes, including mega fires, sea level rise affecting mainly coastal populations. the permafrost melting affecting mostly alaskan native communities that have to relocate. we're talking about major, major global disruptions like we've never seen before. and no one knows exactly when that's going to happen but the further away from that safety net we get, by burning fossil fuels and deforestation and forest degradation, the more severe those impacts are going to be. >> where does, in the 12 years we stay like we are now, what's going to happen? >> we're going to see more extreme events like we've been getting and were more frequent. mega droughts are now happening in the southwest, we're seeing the largest sheet of ice breaking off the antarctic continent right now. when that happens, it could be as little as 3 to 5 years, it could be a little longer, that's going to accelerate sea
level rise. there are billions of people living in coastal areas that at some point are going to have to relocate. >> and where does, i guess, where does this rank in the priorities that this country has? as far as dealing with china, dealing with the genocide, dealing with our debt, dealing with all the issues america faces. where does climate change and we are talking about take priority? >> they're all important. >> you can't pay for so many. how would you fund for what you're talking about, and i assume it doesn't include any gas, what the president is doing now, no gas, no oil exploration. pretty much just cutting everything off. >> i didn't say that but i think it would've been great if congress could've passed the build back better act because there was a lot of funding in there to help accelerate innovation in renewable, clean
energy sources. and i just want to maybe underscore this. one thing that, one impression i took away from our meeting yesterday is like me, you've got grandkids. and i'm worried about my grandkids. i've got two daughters that i love very much, i've got three grandkids that are toddlers. and when they're adults, i worry about the planet that were leaving them. and i know you care about your grandkids to. and in the long run, that's really the priority, isn't it? our families? >> our families and you and i have the same passion for protecting them. but as far as where we go with our national issues that we're facing now, with socialism, communism coming, this administration doing what it's doing to this country. it's a crying shame. thank you so much. i yield back. >> thank you, ranking member. i now want to recognize our
chair, chair maloney. >> thank you, mister chairman. and mister chairman, the logging industry spends millions of dollars every year trying to influence lawmakers, congress and the public. trying to convince us that chopping down trees is good and right. they use buzzwords like the truth about logging. i like to ask our witnesses about some of the industries favorite terms. miss king, does the logging industry use the word quote, thinning, to mean chopping down trees? >> that is what happens, yes. >> and how about, do they use the term quote, hazardous fuel reduction to mean chopping down trees? >> yes. >> can quote, fire risk reduction mean chopping down trees? >> yes. >> and what about quote, active
forest management, and quote, can this be another term for chopping down trees? >> yes. and there are so many others. reforestation, vegetation management, forest health, these are all, what they end up doing is they go in and whatever it is they say they're going to do, they logged more. and as has been pointed out, they take the most profitable trees which are the big ones. and then they leave all the branches on the ground to dry out, which is exacerbates fires. in montana, for example, there is, i don't have -- we did include the photo but there is a photo of a huge clear cut and then behind it are mountains with many bald spots. you just look at them and you just go, where is our forest, what are they doing? and it's all justified by these
euphemisms. >> so, definitely, that is a thing that they do to persuade the public. >> well the industry make all this quote, managed forest. or an example of fire risk reduction or any of the other terms you used. but to me, it looks like a forest that was cleared for profit. plain and simple. and we have collaborated very closely, to pass the northern rockies echo system protection right. and i just like to ask you, why do you believe wilderness bills like no reba or the northern rockies ecosystem act. our better past forward for so-called commercial logging? >> i can't say i'm not against, i don't have an opinion about commercial law getting on private land. international forests, we own
them, your constituents are paid for the subsidies that infrastructure law. in everybody, every states constituents pay for that. and we should not be paying for that the preservation right now preservation is the solution. 30 by 30 is a big deal and that's one way that we can mitigate climate change. that means leave the forest alone. and that is why the northern rockies ecosystem protection act is so important. because it protects 23 million acres of wild intact ecosystems, forest ecosystems. and there is an interaction, like i mentioned about the pine bark beetles and the trees that leave them standing, and if they burn, that's the forest, forests way of taking care of
itself. i could go on but. >> excuse me, i think it's important to -- >> reclaiming my time, reclaiming my time. the logging industry wants us to believe it shares our desires for safe communities and healthy forests. but i think they should stop misleading the public and start telling the truth about what is responsible thinning can amount to chopping down trees. i like to say that i support president biden's directive, his executive order to protect 30% of the land by 2030. that's going to help our environment, that's going to really help it for our children and our grandchildren as many of you have said. and preserving forests will also advance our efforts to combat the climate crisis by locking carbon in the ground. this hearing starts the conversation to get to the
truth of what the industry is up to. i look forward to the committee's continued efforts to make sure the logging industry understands that public land belongs to the public. today, tomorrow, and in the future. the best way we can preserve it is to literally preserve it. and that's why i support the green new deal and nrepa and every law, efforts of anybody. to preserve our public land for public use, public enjoyment and that is by preserving it. i think all the witnesses for their insightful statements, i wish i had time to question everybody but i now yield back my time has expired. i think the chairman for holding this committee meeting. and for his leadership in this area. i yield back. >> thank you, madam chair. before we go to representative tlaib, miss meadows night, did
you want to say something? >> yes, i did want to say something. i think it's important that indigenous perspective. everywhere you are in the united states, you are on someone's indigenous territory. there is native territory everywhere in the united states, every forest in every personal property is native territory. now we were talking about terms of tending and managing land. i don't think that we literally want to say that wilderness is a colonial term. management is a colonial term. if you are deeply colonized, you are not going to really have any understanding of how to tend a forest. your colonial. you're only know what you know based on the programming of being an american and not interacting in the forest as a part of it. as part of the forest ecosystem. so it's really important to understand the terms that were throwing out about tending to a forest or managing a forest, doing those things, there are
indigenous terms of working in a forest for thousands of years. that even some songs, that was looking at the fourth cannot testify to because they do not know these terms as an actual act of forest tender. so for us to understand that let me just leave it right here, in our language, we don't have a word for wild. because we are indigenous, we live in this landscape for thousands of years, we don't have a word for wild. so there is no word wilderness. we tend to everything because everything is home. thank you. >> thank. you representative tlaib, you are recognized. >> thank you so much, chairman. i think my question is to someone that can answer, and this really is sincere question about, how much do we subsidize. is a two billion dollars that we subsidize for private companies to destroy, cut down
our trees, on our lands? >> is it around that much, who can answer that question? >> i can answer it. i can't break it down as to how much of it literally goes to logging. i'm guessing that most of it does go to logging. by the other name, -- i had somebody tell me, we are putting in a lot of money for restoration. restoration is one of those euphemisms. >> i just, i think miss king will my struggle, as i was listening to this i was asking a question. i'm really just distraught that you were talking about being able to protect people's homes where they live and who is going to pay for it. i'm wondering who is paying right now for the subsidies? >> taxpayers. >> that's right.
so we're basically subsidizing, i don't know, i hate that word because americans -- we are basically paying people to make money off destroying our land. and from what i understand that whatever it in the past, u.s. forestry loses money every year. millions of dollars every year because of that, is that correct? >> yes, two billion dollars of year. that's an economist study that i looked at. >> and so, i think it's really important that when we talk about who's going to pay for things. that we also talk and consensus, who's paying for this now, who's paying for the destruction now. and it sounds like the american people are. and that's unfortunate because i think many would agree that that is not where they want the money spent. especially on for profit entities that again are destroying land. you know, it is really hard as someone that lives in frontline communities that for many of my residents.
we really don't feel seen or heard win much of these discussions are held and it really does matter when we hear folks say who's going to pay for things is we've seen the fact that we are paying for pollution in communities like mine. we're paying for, you know, dirty water, dirty air and in this essence, as we center around the destruction of our lands across our nation. that it is the american people that need to be aware that's who's paying for it. so in community and folk are actually coming to the table and saying, look we need your help, because what you all are doing is destroying our livelihood, there were hesitating and asking who's going to pay for it. and so i just wanted to be able to say that, chairman, thank you so much for allowing me to do that. even though i wasn't scheduled to and i really sincerely appreciate the panelists. and this meders-night, that's why you're here. i want to know i hear you, and
i yield, the minute or so i have left, to anything you think many of my colleagues need to hear about the impact on our native american and our indigenous >> communities. meders-night yes. one of the -- i'm going to talk about the 2018 [inaudible] fire. and in the wilderness area, all of that took place in our mechoopda troubled territory. and terra tech was a major corporation that was able to weave in and get all the funding, the contracted funding, the tree removal, has a tree, everything. we had local groups and local community members that we all got trained, and then i created a training program for the mechoopda indian tribe to train folks on how to manage to not only for stealth, but how to do wetlands, how to do meadows. and these are what would be considered firebreaks. so i have to use the language that's used by the timber
industry and also by the forced industry, but i have a unique language of my own as a traditional ecological knowledge practitioner, and i've been doing this for 20 years. and i usually teach children because children are actually more way more open minded on congress. and so what i'm telling you is that the management of these federal forests really need to be done through, in cooperation with every tribal nation in the united states. you have a lot of hands on deck and you have a lot of economic investments in each of those tribal territories that allow for workforce development. this workforce development can also hire and train nanda devi folks to work in an area, and it's really important to strive to have workforce development when we're coming into this discussion instead of, you know, any other finger-pointing. but i also think that we also have to understand the terms that i use our also because i need to cross reference between the colonial world and the world that i live in today.
>> thank you. representative ocasio-cortez? >> thank you so much, chair khanna. you know, so many of these principles that we are discussing today, whether it is directly confronting the realities of climate change, land use, creating high paying jobs in order to protect our public lands, advocacy for indigenous sovereignty, all these things are core green new deal tenets. but i want us to zoom out a little bit because when we were first drafting the green new deal and many other pieces of environmental legislation, very often they were so many folks, well meaning, well intentioned, deeply studied, that said, it makes no sense to consider issues of justice and injustice
with decarbonizing our economy. and they said we need to stick to the science of the problem and worry about all of the injustice stuff later or separately. and i think it's important for us to take the opportunity, miss meders-night, to actually discuss how injustice and colonization is a -- is part of what has led us to this climate crisis today. in 2021, the united states experienced record-breaking wildfires, like the dixie wildfire in california, that burned nearly 1 million acres of land, an area largest and new york city, chicago, dallas and los angeles combined. millions of acres of land across the united states were once indigenous and we now call them national parks. and we know that there's so much of the indigenous
situating and practices that were going on for millennia, including the controlled deliberative burns that cleared out it under pressure without catching fire to falling trees. now, ms. meders-night, what are some of the benefits of native controlled burns to the ecosystem and overall land? >> you want to have carbon sequenced ration, carbon storage in this all. and you have healthy fire adaptive plants and you'll have a thriving ecosystem that has lots of biodiversity, which is natural selection, natural mortality that is chosen by the fire. >> and ms. meders-night, despite the benefits that you just outlined when the united states forcibly displaced native american tribes, federal fire policy then banned native controlled millennial long burning practices that -- to care for the land, and instead
promoted explicit fire suppression designed to correct -- protect watersheds and commercial to put supplies. is that correct? >> yes. they also prohibited our cultural practice up until the 1970s. and cultural burning is one of those prohibited practices that was part of our ceremony and part of what life does. >> so up until the 1970s, the colonization and the displacement of indigenous peoples in the united states included banning a practice that we now know explicitly sequestered carbon and -- would you say that it's fair to say, ms. meders-night, that the colonization of indigenous peoples in the united states and the consequences of that have contributed to carbon emissions? >> it's contributing immensely. >> so, is it accurate to say as well that when the practice, when controlled burning was banned over decades, the land
grew thick, then, with vegetation, and it dried out every summer, essentially creating huge kindling stocks for extreme and even more devastating forest fires than otherwise? >> as well as that, they also included planting acres and acres of non native conifers that don't belong in that ecosystem to put on top of that fire hazard as well. >> so, as was covered earlier in this hearing, the federal government has authorized the forest service and the bureau of land management to conduct stewardship contracts to do a number of things. but it actually contracted many corporations to sell timber instead of more straightforwardly is during the land, correct? >> it's called goods for services, yes. >> and what are some of the proposals and what are some of the ideas that you would
recommend the committee entertain in order to write that wrong? >> it goes directly to the goods for services and expanded to the more complimentary and applicable to a -- economy that's place based in that area. say, for instance, california has acorns, we also have a really, a limited amount of native seeds to receive or re-vegetate these burn scars. and so it's really important to create seat banks because that becomes the capital that is in all of your federal forest that is shared between [inaudible] . it is focusing on the capital of goods for services and those goods can be seats, those products can be food and those products can be sequestered covered as well as to include [inaudible] also brought, up the floor that's processed in each, i would say, in each area. so a lot of stuff that comes out of the floor for four on
the pacific coast will be different from the east coast. but of course, those products are goods for services that the trump knows how to procure. >> thank you. >> thank you. now i'd like to recognize representative krishnamoorthi. >> okay, thank you, chair cannot. this is a terrific hearing, and i would like to direct a couple of questions to carol king. miss king, thank you so much for visiting my office with your colleagues to explain, kind of, background on the particular issues that we are talking about today. i guess the first question i wanted to ask you is, would you like to say anything that you haven't had a chance to share up to this point in this hearing? >> well, i think i want to say, highlight the fact, again, so many people talk about the concern for climate, which is
so overwhelming that the figures that doctor dellasala gave, like how over what we are supposed to be we already are. but the focus has been on coal, oil, gas as part of the problem. you know, emissions. but i just want people to really recognize that we are locking in our national forests at a rate equal to the emissions from burning coal that logging needs to be part of the discussion. and more than just discussion. i think that's the main point i wanted to get across. and the other is the misuse of our federal funds going to subsidize, you know, subsidize -- pay for -- we are paying for the roads that go in and that are, the locking, all the damage to our forests. we need to re-route that warning to help people harden homes that cannot afford to do it. and to protect communities like
the ones that representative ocasio-cortez spoke about and that our representative tlaib also spoke about. >> this came, what if i'm an individual at home and i'm watching this hearing and i'm just thinking, gosh, i don't see how i could do anything to help. one person can't make a difference. what would you say to that, and what would you tell them to do? >> that's a great question, because that applies to every issue that everybody cares about! people need to become involved. and more important, even dent them becoming involved -- or equally important -- is becoming formed. and don't just get your information from one source. use critical thinking. look at what's being said and who is saying it and why and who is paying whom to say it. and i think that's, that's what i would say to people, certainly, about this issue. when you hear the scientists, don't just say, oh, i'm
confused. you know, really dig, take a moment or two to just, like, say, okay, i'm going to look past my usual source of information. but get involved in politics. politics matters. you don't have to run, although you want to, you should. but people should just be more involved, because it's life, it's life for us. it's how our lives are going to, be howard or your life is going to be, how your family's life is going to be. >> i think that running for office is terrific. and running for congress is terrific. just please don't do it in the eighth congressional district off illinois, please [laughs] . >> but apart from that, will be delighted. i want to ask you another question, which is, tell us a good news story, a story of what a community or 50, municipality, a state or even a country has done with regard to the issues at hand, and what can we learn from that lesson? >> well, i'm having trouble
thinking of a good news story on this. i would perhaps ask my colleague here, my panelists, my fellow panelist. >> yeah, sure. please jump in. >> well, i've got a couple of examples. because i work around the globe on forest issues. costa rica has a thriving economy that based on ecoterrorism. and they've saved about 25% of the tropical rainforest and it's driving their economy. we could do the very same thing. and one thing i wanted to share was the with the subcommittee is we've got these new numbers that we are going to be publishing soon, based on the largest inventory of mature and old forest across the united states. we've got the first map and nationwide inventory of how much of these forests are left. and what we are seeing is that the ability of those forests to store carbon is massive. we have some of the most carbon
dense forest on the planet. they are stirring storing the equivalent of a time global emissions. we've got to get off fossil fuels, we talked about. that the president and add cop26 some to pledge to end deforestation and global fourth degradation. lead by example. we have an opportunity to beat by example to the international community so that we become that beacon of light, that we could've hope, that we need to get through this climate and biodiversity crisis that the planet is in right now. so i'd like to get our nation into that leadership position, and i'm very pleased to hear what i heard today. i'm sorry, representative ocasio-cortez left, i wanted to thank her for the green new deal and all the work that she's doing in that regards. i want to thank the chairwoman as well for mentioning 30 by 30. that's an extraordinary pledge.
it hasn't come to fruition yet, and we've got to get there as soon as possible so that we are the world's leader, leadership on conservation and climate change, because our forests are a natural climate solution to the crisis. >> thank you. i yield back. >> thank you. well, it looks like we've had the members who wish to ask questions. in closing, i want to thank our panelists for their remarks. and i want to commend my colleagues for participating in this important conversation. i want to thank our chair again for helping convene and give us the impetus to have this hearing and all of the panelists for your passion, your testimony, i know it will make a big difference. and we will be following up with the forest management
service as we got a commitment from chief more to meet with everyone and make sure all this are considered. with that, without objection, all members will have five legislative days within which to submit additional written questions for witnesses to the chair. which will be forwarded to the witnesses for the response. i ask our witnesses to please respond as promptly as you are able. this hearing is now adjourned. ations]
exxonmobil, pioneer natural resources and shell. watch live wednesday at 10:30 am eastern on c-span 3. online at c-span.org or watch full coverage on c-span now, our free video app. now a hearing examining the effects of toxic exposure on military personnel and veterans. caused by airborne toxins and burn pits. from a sat