Arizona Forest Director Unhappy About Halt To Tree-Thinning Project

By Jill Ryan, Ron Dungan, Lauren Gilger
Published: Thursday, September 30, 2021 - 11:03am

The Arizona House Forest and Wildfire Management ad hoc committee met Wednesday on forest management practices. 

One issue that was raised was a recent National Forest Service decision to cancel a bidding process that would have allowed the Four Forests Initiative to accelerate thinning projects throughout Arizona — which is a blow to the state’s ability to manage wildfires. 

David Tenney, state Forestry and Fire Management director, is not happy. 

forest trees
Andrew Bernier/KJZZ
A test plot studying forest thinning and its ecological effects in northern Arizona in 2015.

“I will promise you that as long as I am there, at least, we will continue to do our part to push and help our federal partners to figure out what needs to be done different and better and more of — to try to restore our federal forests and lands," Tenney said.

He also says they’re looking for new approaches to forest management and firefighting. 

The Legislature has put more money into the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management and now the committee is trying to figure out a way for it to be more effective on the local level.