An executive order expected to be posted Monday in the Federal Register is somewhat open-ended in directing the Interior and Agriculture departments to actively manage forests to reduce the risk of wildfires. Conservationists are concerned how the order could either directly or indirectly affect lands within the National Park System.
"Active management of vegetation is needed to treat these dangerous conditions on Federal lands but is often delayed due to challenges associated with regulatory analysis and current consultation requirements," reads the order. "In addition, land designations and policies can reduce emergency responder access to Federal land and restrict management practices that can promote wildfire resistant landscapes. With the same vigor and commitment that characterizes our efforts to fight wildfires, we must actively manage our forests, rangelands, and other Federal lands to improve conditions and reduce wildfire risk."