Environment | Politics

Audio for Senate Indian Affairs Committee hearing on wildfires






The Senate Indian Affairs Committee held a hearing this afternoon to discuss wildfire management in Indian Country.

Tribal lands and ancestral lands have suffered greatly from a spate of wildfires in recent years. The Rodeo-Chediski Fire in 2002 burned about 60 percent of the Fort Apache Reservation in Arizona, home to the White Mountain Apache Tribe.

But thanks to prescribed burns, thinning, logging and other practices, forestry manager Jonathan Brooks said the tribe was spared another disaster when the Wallow Fire struck in 2011 and from more recent blazes. Forestry management costs far less than firefighting, he told the committee.

"We live in these forests -- we don't just recreate, we just don't get money," Brooks testified. "They are our home since time immemorial."

The hearing lasted about 1 hour and 20 minutes. Audio can be found on the Indianz.Com SoundCloud.

Committee Notice:
Oversight Hearing on "Wildfires and Forest Management: Prevention is Preservation" (May 14, 2014)

Related Stories:
Witness list for Senate Indian Affairs Committee hearing on fires (5/13)