Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), during an appearance on Breitbart News Saturday, blasted Democrat policies for enhancing conditions for catastrophic wildfires in his state of California, criticizing progressives such as Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), who visited the state last week and largely attributed the tragedy to global warming.
Nunes delved into the reality of the wildfires in the West in terms of the progressive policies that he said essentially enhanced conditions for them to reach catastrophic levels. Socialist policies are taking a toll on California, Nunes, author of the new book Countdown to Socialism, said. There is “not a better example” of it manifesting than the fires in the Golden State, he added.
“So California is the most blessed land on the planet,” said the lawmaker, who is out with a new book Countdown to Socialism. “As you can imagine, we’re a Mediterranean climate with fertile soil and sunshine, and when it rains guess what happens? Things grow, and they grow really fast,” he continued, noting that wildfires in the west are not new, despite the implications of progressives.
Prior to the creation of the United States, Native Americans “lived in the land and knew what they had to do,” Nunes explained.
“They knew in the wintertime you get rain, you get snow in the high mountains, you come down in the valleys. And so they had to ensure that all of that stayed well because they knew there’d be lightning strikes and you know it could be deadly for them especially back in the day,” he explained.
“Think of being a Native American with no transportation. I mean you’d quickly be engulfed in flames and be run out of foothills and mountains. And those of you who have been in California post-April or May, you know what I’m saying. Everything kind turns (to) dry landscape and then you don’t get rain until November.”
Native Americans used to do clearings, burns, and create paths to “keep everything under control,” he continued.
Nunes provided a brief history, explaining how the timber industry took off in the era of the Gold Rush, as people began to settle in the area, leading to cattle in the ranges.
People learned “’this isn’t rocket science’ from the Indians — things you had to do to keep these fires from essentially overtaking the entire state,” he said.
But, Nunes continued, beginning in the late 1970s and early 1980s, people took the Endangered Species Act and “abused it and created lawsuits.” Those lawsuits kicked the cattle and people off the land and “eventually took a lot of the federal land so that you couldn’t even do any clearing.”
“You couldn’t cut anything down. You couldn’t take any brush out of the federal land. That all happened because of lawsuits involving the Endangered Species Act,” he said, referencing the “famous” example of the spotted owl.
“So that essentially eliminated a lot of the timber industry in California,” the lawmaker explained.
Nunes said the situation worsened in the early 2000s after former President Bill Clinton “took the last area that was still being used for timber in my area and the created a 600,000-acre monument which booted everyone off the land and annihilated the rest of the timber industry in the central-southern San Joaquin Valley.”
The move resulted in the loss of “thousands and thousands” of jobs.
“So then you get 20 years of no grazing, no taking out the brush, and then you get lightning strikes and what happens is you go from forest fires that are normal to catastrophic forest fires. So this land all over California, it was grazed. There were access trails. There were points all over these mountings believe it or not. It was treated like a garden. You had access to everywhere so that if a fire started, it would either burn and then not break over but more importantly you could get the appropriate law enforcement or fire suppression groups up quickly to where the fire was to either do a burn back where you could stop it from advancing,” he said.
Nunes stressed that the magnitude of forest fires has grown exponentially in the last 20 years, going from 1,000 -20,000 acres to hundreds of thousands of acres.
“We have burned, just in two fires right in my two counties that I represent, 350,000 acres and Kamala Harris flies into here … she goes up and trespasses on people’s property and does what? ‘This is global warming. It’s climate change,’” Nunes said, noting that Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) and former President Barack Obama have repeated the same belief.
“I mean this is the biggest joke of all time,” he added.
Those who buy into the climate change agenda, he said, should support policies to mitigate catastrophic wildfires in the Golden State.
“You could be a 100 percent believer in global warming. You could think it’s way worse than anybody says. If you believe that, then you damn sure should want to make sure that all these acres roads are built. That these timber mills get back opened, we start taking care of the land, and start putting cattle and sheep and everything back on the land. If that doesn’t happen, we’re going to continue to burn. This is the second day we’ve seen the sun,” he continued. “We didn’t see the sun here for eight days, Matt. That’s how bad it was. Ash was falling on everywhere, dirtying up your car.”
He likened it to a “massive sand storm in the Middle East.”
“That’s the only thing that I’ve ever seen. I mean it really looked like a war zone,” he added.