Forest Management
After many decades of determined fire control efforts, the US Forest Service has become concerned for the health of the American forests. Since small fires are part of the natural lifecycle of a forest, artificially suppressing those fires has created a dangerous situation. Dead and downed timber builds up in the forest, adding a large amount of hazardous fuel to any fire that may begin from natural or human causes. With this added fuel, the forest can burn intensely, and limiting the size of the fire becomes very difficult. As a result, the National Forest Service and the forest services in many states have embarked on programs to reduce these hazardous fuels in the forests that they manage.

Hawaii has many forested areas that are used for watersheds and for recreation. These uses encourage similar desires to avoid any fires in the forests. However, the same issue of hazardous fuel buildup occurs in Hawaii as on the mainland. On Maui, the Department of Forestry and Wildlife manages forests in Kula, Olinda and West Maui. There are also several private land owners and managers of forested areas on Haleakala and the West Maui Mountains. These forests all exhibit the same hazardous fuel issue, requiring an economically sustainable way to remove the hazardous fuels from Maui's forests.

The State of Washington has extensive forests over its entire land area. As part of their efforts to develop a Climate Policy consistent with good forest health, they have developed the following approach. First, they state the intent of the option:
"... this proposed option will aim to reduce fuels buildup attributable to decades of fire suppression ...
Wildfires play an important ecological role in the natural forest lifecycle yet millions of acres of Washington's forestlands are at uncharacteristic risk due to past management practices."
Second, they made the following recommendation:
"While we prioritize recommendations focused on thinning, we do recognize all forms of 'Forest Health Treatments' like prescribed burns, integrated pest management. We feel strategic thinning and similar treatments are most prudent in the climate policy context."

In a Climate Policy context and in a forest health context, the recommendation is to remove the hazardous fuels from the forest.

Quoted from Washington Climate Advisory Team Forestry Technical Work Group Mitigation Options