Opinion: U.S. must clear step to launch forest project

Monster wildfires are threatening to burn up Arizona. Last year alone, they blackened more than 1,100 square miles — an area two and half times the size of Phoenix.

Our tree-choked forests have become explosively flammable, and the massive destruction won’t stop until we thin them out. The problem has been obvious for years, but progress has been maddeningly slow. The thinning projects so far have been too small and too expensive.

Now a historic collaboration, the Four Forest Restoration Initiative, has a plan to scale up the work through commercial timber operations that use small-diameter trees. Environmentalists and the industry have reached unusual agreement on the deal. It’s all ready to go.


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