Summary of the Article: Most people in the United States are vaguely aware of the current drought situation in California. However, do we really understand the affects of this shortage of water? A way to understand the scope of the problem is to hone in on the amount of trees that have died in California during the last five years, and the results are shocking. More than 62 million trees have died in the last couple of years, making tree "fatalities" at a 100% increase in 2016. The death of all these trees increases chances of wildfire dramatically. An expert on the epidemic said, "A crisis of this magnitude demands action on all fronts."
A visual of the Tree Mortality in California
"These dead and dying trees continue to elevate the risk of wildfire, complicate our efforts to respond safely and effectively to fires when they do occur, and pose a host of threats to life and property across California," U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said in a statement.
Analysis of the Article: Kacey Deamer's article allows readers to understand the serious issue in California and addresses the necessity to take action. With facts like the epidemic killing of 7.7 million acres of forest, it makes sense how the issue puts the entire ecological area at risk. Understanding the scope of this problem is important and forces people to understand that this is not a small problem that only affects a small area in California, it affects the land mass of the state forever and the entire countries well being.
The fight against wildfires and the need for other safety measures have also taken a toll on the USFS budget. In the 2016 fiscal year, California redirected $43 million to drought and wildfire restoration, and 56 percent of the USFS' total budget last year was used for fire management, the agency said. The USFS anticipates a rise to 67 percent by 2025, officials added.
My "Big Takeaway": Frankly, this article scared me. Despite all the small factors that add to my personal daily stresses, there are so much more and bigger things to worry about. When it comes down to it, there is nothing more important than appreciating and respecting the land where I live and on earth. If we don't take care of it, life will cease to exist much sooner than it should. What I learned from this article is that individuals must keep themselves accountable for the contributions to the environment, and that climate change and other environmental issues are the most important current issue, and action must be taken as soon as possible.