In 2015, we experienced record drought and one of the worst fire seasons on record — a deadly combination. What can we do to change this?
Fires are a natural and necessary force in a forest’s life cycle, but intensive industrial management has left our forests highly vulnerable to the nearly uncontrollable fires that have been taking over the West. Combined with excessive drought and climate change, wildfires are now bigger, faster, and more devastating than ever before.
Now, more and more money is being spent fighting fires, and not enough is left for the smart forest management activities and restoration that prevent catastrophic fires in the first place. More than $10 million dollars a day was spent on fire suppression this summer, according to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. That’s more than half of the Forest Service’s funding. And that number is predicted to rise to two-thirds within 10 years.
The good news is that healthy forests can help fight fires.
Ecotrust has been working for nearly 25 years to help protect and care for our forests. Working in close partnership with neighbors, community groups, and government agencies, we work to restore damaged forestlands, manage forests for long-term health and resilience, and safeguard land threatened by harmful management practices.
Not only that, but we know that it pays to invest in forest restoration: For every $1 million invested in restoration, 24 long-term jobs are created — jobs that reduce the risk of wildfire disasters, restore critical habitat, safeguard clean drinking water, and build economic prosperity for local communities.
With your help, we can change the way communities experience the next fire season. I hope you will consider making a year-end gift to support Ecotrust. Your support means more protections for the forests that protect us. It means restoring damaged forests to health and resilience. It means ensuring that our forests and our lands are managed for long term benefit, not short term gain. And at the end of the day, it means that more of our forests will have the strength and resilience to actually fight fires. Not just be consumed by them.
Thank you so much for your care and support. Your gift makes a difference, and we can’t do this work without you.