Thin the Threat Public Service AnnouncementsMonday June 6, 2022
Boise, ID - Idaho Forest Products Commission (IFPC) and Idaho Department of Lands (IDL) joined Governor Brad Little in encouraging the support of efforts to Thin the Threat of wildfire through Public Service Announcements (PSA).
The new PSAs highlight how wildfire can be catastrophic and threaten communities and is driven by the amount of available dry fuel. A large percentage of Idaho’s forests are at dangerously high risk of severe fire due to dense and overcrowded conditions and dead and dying trees. At-risk forests burn more intensely and are more likely to destroy existing wildlife habitats, threaten homes and watersheds, damage soils and emit large amounts of carbon dioxide and other pollutants.
“Unmanaged forests create conditions for catastrophic wildfires that can devastate a community, destroy lives, property, water supplies, and cost taxpayers billions of dollars,” said Governor Little. “We need to be proactive and manage forests properly to prevent what we have seen in other states like California.”
Timber harvests, pre-harvest thinning, removing unhealthy trees and clearing underbrush are crucial parts of managing Idaho’s forests. Active management reduces the density of a forest and allows forest managers to adjust species composition, which can lead to a healthier forest. Thinning reduces susceptibility to bark beetles and increases the health of remaining trees.
“Idaho’s Timber Industry plays an important role in forest management and fostering healthy forests,” said IFPC Director Jennifer Okerlund. “Our forested landscape is vast and, in many ways defines what it truly means to live in Idaho and be an Idahoan. Balanced, responsible management of our state’s economically vital public and private forests is a necessary, collaborative effort.”
“Idaho law ensures trees are replanted within five years of harvest,” she added. “Manage. Harvest. Plant. Repeat. That cycle is a management solution and the forest products industry plants millions of trees every year to keep our forests healthy and sustainable.”
Through IDL’s No Boundaries Forestry Initiative and collaborative partnerships, active management is underway on federal, state and private timberland. The congressionally authorized Good Neighbor Authority provides for thinning the threat on federal land, while Shared Stewardship aids willing private forestland owners. The combined result is landscape-level treatments that Thin the Threat and make the forestland more fire resilient.
“With Good Neighbor Authority and Shared Stewardship, we are leading Idaho in the right direction,” said IDL Director Dustin Miller. “No Boundaries Forestry will address more than 6 million acres designated as high-risk for potential catastrophic wildfire and insect and disease outbreaks.”
“When we Thin the Threat, we are working together to protect valuable timber resources, the more than 31,000 forest sector jobs that support Idaho families, and our watersheds,” said Governor Little. “Most importantly, it helps reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire for our communities.”
Cumulus Media generously donated studio time and production engineering for Thin the Threat. Veteran radio host and production director Scott Cruize produced the radio version of the PSA. The public should begin to hear the radio and television versions of the PSA throughout Idaho soon.