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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  November 9, 2015 12:00pm-2:01pm EST

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your two-thirds to three quarters of the way to your associates degree. it's a complete example of how this is not either or. >> have you been down to miami-dade? ..
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do you and arnie duncan sort of sit down and talk about how you interact and how to change what education means and what continuing education means in the labor front? >> i would ask the president of conversation. >> what the president understands, and i think the biggest adjustment we have to do is there are multiple pathways to the prosperity and apprenticeship is one of them. community college etc. and the workforce innovation and opportunity that is a joint venture between the department of education and the department of labor. but it does is end and that the collaboration between the two agencies. one more quick example we've done a lot of collaboration and redesign in high school for the
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career technical education so the six-year high school model that some of you in the audience and twitter may have seen is a remarkable example of how to create pathways to the middle class. at the end of which you've gotten a frame associates degree. i went to the academy in chicago and that school is jaime nardi, high poverty, high performing. and ibm is the partner and the model is totally scalable. we gave out 100 or $150 million in grants to catalyze the further scaling of the models with a great opportunity. >> other questions or comments? >> go ahead. i'm with tsg strategic
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consulting because of a passion with helping people create these career development skills we launched the exploration series. during the comments that are also very helpful to us i.e. hear you talking about the twentysomething gentlemen some of the folks that are graduating high school with one of the populations that we are trying to help our folks that are in that junior high school. go. they can help them maximize the partner associates. >> we are talking about apprenticeships into those things but this is a cradle in the career enterprise and for too many people the pipeline springs a hole by the time you were in eighth grade. they figure they decided that they are done in math and they are not. and so that's why mentoring and all of those experiences of learning opportunities we need to keep moving of the year and
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beer and earlier so the lightbulb candle off. thank you for what you're doing. >> we have 26 seconds but agreed to administer the clock. really fast, don't be nice, just a question. >> i just want to know how are you going to made sure that because if you can model it come you can model it nationally so what you're talking about apprenticeships, life skills, how do we start now? >> that's what i call a zinger question. >> we went to look at what the apprenticeships that. if you didn't have a plan for ensuring apprenticeship was accessible to everyone, then chances are you were not going to get a grant. about doubling down and diversifying the apprenticeship it's a great opportunity to do so. it being a notable example.
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so many partnerships within a year in philadelphia when we announced the grant proposal he's taking kids in the philadelphia public-school system love their gadgets and partnered with employers that now have pathways to the middle class and the sky is the limit. >> working with more like cinder, joe manchin, chuck schumer on looking at distressed areas of the country that somehow don't find themselves on the highways for these discussions so i wish we could do a whole conference on us. >> in the construction of the skill superhighway into the job driven training what is the role of the data information in your mind? and what is your assessment of the current state of data information helping those structures work and what needs to be improved?
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when you do the sector in strategies to figure out for the demand needs are as you don't make use of the labor market information that you're nothing to make informed choices about the demand needs are and so it is an indispensable part of what we do and we are constantly asking industry what are the questions that we are asking the community colleges in all the stakeholders. people who work part-time, we capture that some people say perhaps you need to capture it in a different way. and so i welcome feedback from you and other stakeholders about data. >> i apologize. we are just out of time. i don't think to cut you off there is no more time. >> consulted with the senior services. what was your voice out to white
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house on aging and how does what you've been talking about relate to that still low statistic for people over 60 getting into the workforce? i volunteered with age friendly dc which is under the umbrella and showed in the city more data than other places. >> we have to cut it there. >> the bottom line is people are working longer because the have to. the recession turned their four o. one -- 401(k). the long-term unemployed lost there were so many of them told us that they're having to finding a job because they firmly believe that age was the biggest barrier. we have sister agencies enforcing and we are also working with targeted
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investments into the workforce system to make sure that folks regardless of their age can have a meaningful opportunity to continue to participate. >> i want you to secure secretary of labor had off and imagine your self as a journalist at a presidential debate with a republican and a democratic candidate for president of the united states and you are moderating. what would be the question that you think should be posed to the next president i would be most illustrative of whether they have an enlightened approach to these labor issues or not, how would you set up the question into the challenge to whether they get it or they don't? >> everybody shares the education is a great equalizer. for me, i learned at an early age that budgets are well documented and they reflect the values and priorities of a
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community. i'm frustrated right now. i have to be honest with you. the senate republican bill cut funding for apprenticeships on the heels of the workforce innovation and opportunity act, which is an overwhelmingly bipartisan bill. so you can't say on the one hand apprenticeship is good and on the other hand when someone tells me i like the issue. the first thing i do is look at the budget because it tells me whether you like the issue. now a generation ago we were on top of the world in education. we are now 13th or 14th among the nations and that's how we maintain our competitive edge. we know what the data shows.
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what do you do for the 58-year-old lost her job and beat some of scaling? what are you going to do in the apprenticeship and in the residence for whom there've been chronic opportunity gaps. we can't afford not to and when you say it's costly that the cost of doing nothing because that is what happens all too frequently. the return on investment in this conversation is off the charts and you can't have a rule that says i don't invest in anything. we can't have fairy dust from a series of growth where they come down and build the roads and bridges and educate our children. that doesn't work in the wizard of oz and it doesn't work in alice in wonderland and it can't be our strategy. that's like dust and pray.
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i don't go out of the journalist would be to debate about that -- i think that it would be a hell of an answer and a person on the stage in the debate. so ladies and gentlemen, thomas perez. [applause] [inaudible conversations]
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all persons having business before the supreme court of the united states give their attention. >> they boldly opposed the internment of these americans
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during world war ii. after being convicted for failing to report for relocation, he took his case all the way to the supreme court. >> think mac issued an order sending 120,000 people of japanese origin who lived close to military installations to internment camps throughout the u.s.. >> this is a weak creation of one of the barracks. they were 20 feet wide and 120 feet long and they were divided into six different rooms. they didn't have a shoebox, they didn't have the masonite on the floor. it was freezing even in the daytime. the only heating they would have had would have been a potbelly stove. but this wouldn't have been able to heat the entire room in a
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comfortable kind of way. >> challenging the order, fred to find that order and was arrested at his case went to the supreme court. find out how the court ruled in the view of the powers with our guest the author of justice that were the story of the japanese-americans internment cases and karen, executive director of the institute and the author of the plaintiff. we will explore the mood of america and the u.s. government policies during world war ii and we will follow mr. korematsu's life before coming after editing the decision. that's the landmark cases on c-span and c-span radio. for background on each case while you watch order your copy of the cases companion book to read its available for $8.95 for shipping on landmark
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cases. >> conservation groups and firefighter union leaders talk about wildfire threats and the aftermath and the budgetary concerns about preventing, managing and fighting forest fires across the country. they testified last week before the house agriculture and forestry committee.
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>> good morning. i call this meeting of the committee on agriculture and attrition and forestry to order. today the committee turned its attention to a topic that is quite timely coming off the end of a disastrous wildfire season. it is my hope that this hearing adds to the public record about the need to address significant policy issues regarding catastrophic wildfire in forest management on federal, state and private lines, let me emphasize that our committee as the oversight responsibility for the u.s. forest service whose primary mission is to sustain the overall health, diversity and productivity of the country's national forest. often thought of as a western issue on public land, this hearing serves as a reminder that the agricultural committee has a critical role in the larger wildfire debate.
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national forests unlike national parks and refugees are supposed to be administered and managed in a manner to provide multiple uses and benefits. the forest service readily admits that nearly half of acres of the forest system are at high risk of devastating insect infestations, disease and catastrophic wildfires. as a result of the policy decision from decades decisions from decades ago, we are now witnessing a significant decline in timber harvest lawsuits going active forest management restoration projects leaving the consisting of overstock stands simply as more fuel for more fires. coupled with other threats such as chronic drought and an director and done characteristic outbreaks are national forest hazardous fuel stockpiles susceptible to damaging wildfires. today's wildfire season generates larger hotter and more dangerous wildfires harder and more dangerous wildfires which unlike the occurrence of natural
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wildfires that have restored abilities, these catastrophic emergencies devastated landscapes of ecosystems and communities. in response to this, the 2,014th farmville provided valuable tools and authorities to the service. they've made positive strides in implementing the provisions but we have to see more progress and work on the ground this summer. the administration warned congress that wildfire suppression caused with cause and annual appropriated budget in the coming years. while the preparedness and suppression account for nearly half of the agency's annual discretionary budget that's up from 1.6 billion in 1994 to 3.9 billion in 2014 last year. meanwhile to address the rising cost of the service redirects other modified your account program resources to cover the cost for wildfire suppression.
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this redirection of the program funding or fire borrowing if the will is disruptive to the forest service and its ability to conduct other vital activities like preventive active court artist management and hazardous fuels reductions. the agricultural committee has a long history of working on an advancing legislation that forestry matters most notably with a passage of the healthy restoration act of 2003. our committee is a resource if we want to work with you as we try to tackle this wildfire issue. my hope is the message shared with us today reinforces and necessitates the status quo is unacceptable and congress was focused on this issue. before a shuttle can break ground, or even a chainsaw can enter the forest not obviously on its own as a former chief once said there is a crazy quilt
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of laws that the forest service must comply with which is time-consuming and costly. the forest service must comply with well over 50 separate walls like the clean water act and the endangered species act to name a few. the entire process averaging at least three years per agency review of approval from the project's original inception three years. not to mention the threat of plus lawsuits to stop this kind of restoration work is certainly cause some delay is. if these are fundamental and systemic problems are continuing to the degradation of the national forest system. it is time that congress and the administration into stakeholders advocate. they approved the management of the forest and tough decisions will have to be made on a bipartisan basis to promote greater streamlining and agency deficiencies of the service.
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forest service in the bureaucratic red tape is a significant contributor prohibiting the necessary viable work if nothing changes, everything goes up in smoke. i look forward to hearing from our witnesses and with that i recognize the distinguished ranking member for any remarks she might have. >> this is a very important hearing and we appreciate all of our witnesses coming and giving their time into perspective and expertise. i particularly want to give a special welcome to chris with trout unlimited which was founded in my home state of michigan in 1969 and so we are so happy that you are here and look forward to your input on these critical issues. this summer was hit as we know another record-breaking wildfire season that we felt more than 9 million burned acres into structure that thousands of homes and properties and tragically they took the lives
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of 13 firefighters. we all know our thoughts and prayers are here today with the families of those brave men and women. this devastation is a stark reminder of the challenges we face when dealing with the issue of wildfires. a warming climate coupled with record drought and increased residential development in fire prone areas has made this problem worse and more complex to deal with. there are several measures that we can act now to help make a significant difference and i hope we will talk about this today. in july, the committee occurred from the undersecretary robert bonney who oversees the forest service about the urgent need to fix the fire service budget. fixing the fire service budget is a paramount importance and needs to be a top priority for this congress and for our
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committee and others. the forest service is now routinely forced to transfer funds away from key projects like timber sales to help alleviate the threat of wildfires and use the funds to help pay. this is known as fire borrowing as a huge problem is the chairman talked about. the transfers can cause what is essentially a stop work order. an ongoing project which only place much of our forests at risk to everything from fires to invasive species when the work cannot be completed. for example, a grave to protect the michigan forest against the species would pullback by the fire service so they could spend that money on fighting fires. the stories are similar to this i know that colleagues have across the country.
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it's time to stop these transfers. the senators introduced my partisan legislation. the wildfire disaster funding act which would end the fire transfers by allowing the worst one or 2% of the firefighters retreated to get treated like natural disasters. under this plan the fire service would be able to fight the most severe fires more effectively by using disaster funds to read certainly these are disasters like any other disaster in our country. rather than having to transfer funds from other accounts as they are now doing. i'm pleased to be a cosponsor of this legislation and i appreciate the bipartisan approach and i hope that we will pass the. also, the 2,014th farmville as the chairman said, made significant reforms to the way that we manage our national forest as we discussed building on these changes something i'm hopeful that we will talk about this morning and i suggest we also continue to prioritize the
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full implementation of the reforms enacted last year. just last you for the state of michigan and thus for service entered an agreement which we expanded in the farm bill are a great way that states the states and federal government can pirner to help sustain the more than 26,000 jobs that depend on healthy vibrant forests in michigan. i hope the committee will continue and i know we will build a consensus around restoring and protecting our natural forests. i hope that we will start by supporting the wildfire disaster funding act which will free up the needed resources to carry out policies or committee as a whole has long championed and i appreciate it again you're calling this meeting and i always look forward to working with everyone on the committee.
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>> before the committee this morning, i'm here to hear testimony from all of you as all members are on this important issue i believe we have compiled a panel of witnesses that will be constructed in the wildfire debate. the first witness was the director of the conservation policy for the society and responsible for the administration of the development of the organizations conservation policies to promote forestalled and wildlife habitat through sustained population for species. in addition to the professional accolades come he serves on a number of wildlife conservation boards including the newly established sporting conservation council. he joins us from rice lake wisconsin. welcome and i look forward to your testimony. >> the next witness is mr. william dugan currently serves as the president of the national federation of federal employees the union representing federal employees including the service firefighters.
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prior to the current position he served in a variety of capacities throughout his career with the department of interior of the u.s. foreign service as a former service are in the u.s. and as a former firefighter. welcome i look forward to your testimony and your insight. ken stewart will be introduced by the senator david perdue. >> thank you mr. chairman pleased to introduce mr. ken stewart from marietta georgia. he serves as the board of trustees for the american forest foundation and also returned to my alma mater alma mater and how georgia tech to work as a deputy director of the newly formed institute after having retired as a senior adviser of advisor of industry strategy at georgia tech in 2010. he was appointed commissioner of the georgia department of economic development in january, 2007. he joined the state government in september of 2004 when he was appointed director of the georgia forestry commission.
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his perspective on wildfire for the private land owners are especially important in our state since georgia has our privately owned commercially available timber land than any state in the country. the 24 million acres, 55% is owned by private individuals. only 8% by federal state and county. we should draw the wealthy and college with the experience of private and family forest owners in the field. their voices and concerns are critical as we discussed the importance of the forest management and other forestry issues that impact impact them greatly. thanks for being here we look forward to your testimony. >> our next witness is this treese and i welcome the distinguished senator. >> thank you to you and the senator for allowing me to introduce the next witness. it really is my pleasure to welcome chris to today's hearing. he lives in beautiful glenn
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springs colorado as the managing affairs to the colorado river water conservation district more commonly known as the colorado river district. he oversees legislative and bigotry issues that affect the colorado river basin and over the years he worked with him on a number of issues important to this committee. you should know mr. trent that he helped us to develop portions of the conservation title of the 2,014th farmville and he helped ensure that the bill focus on water quantity of the new regional conservation partnership program. he also helped us build consensus around the reforms into this includes the new treatment program for a forests suffering from disease epidemics which is important to our state in colorado so i would like to welcome chris to the committee and once again thank him for the opportunity for -- for the opportunity to be here today. >> the next witness will be chris. he currently serves as the president and ceo of the
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national conservation organization dedicated to conserve, protect and restore north america's coldwater fisheries and watersheds. prior to joining come he served in a variety of positions within the u.s. forest service and bureau of land management during the clinton administration. welcome to the panel. i look forward to your testimony and it should be noted that the committee worked very hard to get to the witnesses addressing this issue by the name of word and trees. [laughter] let's start off with the first panelist please and you may begin. >> chairman roberts parading member stabenow, members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to be here with you this morning. if we are to maintain a full array of the wildlife international force, we have to maintain the full array of habitats and we are not doing this at that point. national forests throughout eastern united states have accomplished on average only 24%
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of their minimum goal as identified in the existing force plans. we need to expand active management to move beyond that small number ended to do this we need to provide the agency with adequate personnel and financial resources. unfortunately as you pointed out the forest service is indeed becoming the fire service when 50% of the agency budget is eaten alive by addressing these considerations, that can make it very difficult for the agency to publish much of anything else. and a big chunk of that money is going to these fires which are increasingly common in the landscape and unfortunately only likely to become even more so. every year like wildfires in the west we face tornadoes and hurricanes and we treat them as a natural disaster that they are. each time we consider doing the same thing for these fires, these large massive fires but
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simply consume the landscape. personal and financial resources used to combat these fires and natural disasters are unavailable to be used for wildlife conservation and other agency objectives. this leads to the loss of habitat diversity on the force at what we see from that is the immense import into my members as the planning throughout the forest across the country particularly in east. they are also declining to habitats as they become short supply and hunting is big business. they numbered about 11 million across the nation and expenditures that they provide both in the local economies and the rural economy account for a major portion of $34 billion spent by sport hunters every year so this is not small pocket change to be at its not just animals when you look at the region number nine which is a northeastern border of the country, approximately if you
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look at the species that require the young habitats, those are apt to be six times as likely to be declining as they are. we have the southeastern portion of the country causing birds come as a species, nine times as likely to be declining as they are increasing. we need to address that. these trends are real and disturbing for many ecological perspective but they are reversible. and as you mentioned, this committee and others in congress to do great job on the great job on the farmville and providing a good authority, which will be helpful it's just getting it into gear but we think that it is a tremendous potential to enhance what we can do the landscape by expanding state and agency and other private partnerships. target categorical exclusion to address insect and disease issues and again, an excellent tool. we need to expand these tools. one way to do so would to identify the but to identify the additional targeted categorical
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exclusions particularly one geared towards providing the diversity on the forest. and we need to enhance budgetary certainty within the agency. we have to give them the resources to utilize the challenges they face. it's a window through which many of the nation view our national forests and we need to enhance the ability to meet the objectives and expectations of the public. thank you. >> thank you chairman, ranking member stabenow and members of the committee for inviting me to just testify. the union represents 110 federal workers working on 35 federal agencies and departments including 20,000 in a forest service. prior to being elected in the national office i spent 31 years working for the federal government. i worked merrily in the u.s. forest service had spent 22 years fighting wildfires. i can tell you firefighting is dangerous business.
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when you are only fired the only thing between you and trouble is recorded in the brave men and women with you on the fire line. that's why it's important that we armed them with the training and resources they need to be safe and complete the mission. seven of the worst fire season since 1960 have occurred lost 15 years. this year they've branded 9.4 million acres. compared to the ten-year average of ten year average of nearly 69,000 wildfires burning 6.5 million acres. we must recognize that this is the new normal and we must change the way that we do business to account for it. the usda inspector general issued a report in 2010 the predicted future the week a few church future tv cup each are shortages of firefighters in the service. if you were being trained to replace those retiring. that prediction has now come into fruition and is a major problem. why will you firefighting agencies have done from its work to improve the interagency cooperation and come up with a
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consistent certification and training system administered by the national wildfire coordinating group is an outstanding achievement. my union is profit to be a partner in the firefighter apprenticeship program which we hope will take consistency and training to the next level of a unfortunately, the program has been underutilized in our view. the rate for the wildfires is alarmingly high. i'm proud of my union worked with representatives jerry connolly and rob bishop in the house and the senator in the senate on the land management workforce flexibility act. i would like to thank senator johnson for his assistance in bringing the bill forward for the vote was passed by unanimous consent and signed into law by the president in august. for the wild and firefighters he experienced this on the front line. prior to the passage of the legislation the firefighter career path was blocked by the flawed dysfunctional federal regulations which prevented long-term temporary employees from being able to advance their careers. because of the barrier to the
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career advancement many firefighters eventually left taking their valuable skills with them. with the legislation signed into law it will ensure that these these three employees are allowed to compete fairly for the permanent positions when they become vacant thereby retaining critical skills within the workforce. i'm disappointed to report that while we are still awaiting to issue implementation guidance for federal agencies unfortunately while we wait the workforce is already underway pending the guidance from agencies are not considering long serving seasonal firefighters for the career positions under promotion. if this doesn't change within the next few weeks, the knowledge loss we have been seeing for far too long already would continue another year. funding for this oppression continues to be a problem. with the severity of the wildfires increasing the portion of the budget that goes to the fire suppression and preparedness has increased dramatically. in the fiscal year 2015 the overall fire management budget for the forest service was
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$2.5 billion of that 708 million was for fire suppression of 303 million was in a special account for firefighting. this is a 60% increase from a decade ago. it exceeds the funds appropriated for this oppression and when this happens agencies transfer funds from other programs into the firefighting accounts to cover the shortfall. the so-called cancellations and delays in the agencies on drug program of work and in fiscal year 2015 they were forced to transfer about $700 million from other programs in order to be able to continue to pay for suppression costs after initial funding was exhausted. ironically many of the projects are those designed to reduce the frequency and severity of catastrophic wildfires. it's robbing peter to pay paul and it costs taxpayers more. we urge congress to pass the disaster funding act to address this. in addition to ensure there's sufficient funding available to pay for the suppression costs,
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reduction of hazardous fuels in the forests and in the communities existing in the wildland urban interface must be part of a holistic strategy to reduce the risk of those is getting initial attack and becoming catastrophic in nature. it's time for congress to take action to provide the resources and the flexibility necessary to protect the critical necessary and pricked the data to protect those for wildfire. these cannot wait until next year they need to be acted on immediately. i think the committee for voting this year and would be happy to answer any questions you might have. >> if you very much. on behalf of the firefighters and another ranking member and myself and all members of the committee will join me in trying to light a fire under the office of personnel management.
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mr. chairman, ranking member saban out of them as if the kennedy this is the perfect time for the hearing. it's coming to an end right now and i'm so impressed with how well informed the committee is in the opening statements that were made about the issues that we are facing. the american forest foundation represents the interest of 22 million family owners across the country and these are the private land owners that we are talking about here. the interest your leadership on this issue is important to us and i would like to also sub at this for introduction into the record and report the western water that i wildfire is not just a public land issue. so i'm going to talk about off the public side of the private side today. the land in the western states are privately owned and of that, 40% of the trust lands are owned
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privately or in the critical fire area and its 64 million westerners depend on that watershed for their drinking waters. the catastrophic wildfires that they are phasing out west right now and have been facing burned so hot that it creates what is called a parking lot effect if it safely bakes this will so when we have so well it rains off and takes all of the debris and contaminants and things with it it doesn't soak up as it would normally have been. they are spending millions of additional dollars just treating the water that they depend on. mostly on the private side and what we basically found there are some barriers to action. the 77% say there is a disconnected we have a couple of
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things we need to deal with. one is the cost of it and the other is if we treat our land and our neighbors don't than what have we accomplished and they have a good point for so this is something that i think is appropriate for congress to begin dealing with for sure. we had a 16% dedicated to fires a decade ago 50% now and projected to be two thirds in 2025 if something isn't done. the impact outside for this is what's important and you think that for georgia and the southern states which also in the midwestern states also have higher problems but the state and private forest programs are impacted as the 12% decrease in the last five years under budget. one of these on medication programs which caused this not to happen. some individual programs are down 20%. earlier it was mentioned at the borrowing program, that is a significant issue in terms of the effect on programs and some
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40% of the service forrester's have been laid off in the states so this isn't all about problems it is part of it is about solutions and particularly to get a focus on private lands but first we recommend three solutions to consider. one is we just must fix how the y. old firefighting is funded. obviously congressional action is needed and has been introduced to treat it like other federal emergency funding. second, we need funding to better enable the treatment of private family land to do it on a landscape approach. this is simply words that say we need to be collaborative, we need to work with our partners and work with the u.s. forest service and national resource conservation service, local and community agencies as well so that we have a coordinated landscape approach. third certainly is about markets that's near and dear to my heart. it starts with markets and we
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have a way of spending some public money to develop and support those markets through loans and grant programs to help develop them. so, mr. chairman, members of the committee, certainly a time to act is now. thank you for your consideration, and i believe that what we are talking about here should have good bipartisan support. >> thank you very much for your testimony and for putting up with its held in private hands. and you're rather dramatic statement regarding the people that depend on water supply with regards to the real problems that we face. mr. treese. >> morning. thank you chairman roberts, breaking member stabenow for that generous introduction. members of the committee, i have the honor of representing the water conservation district and the national water resources
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association and its members across 13 western states. as the committee knows, the founding purpose of the national forest system was to secure favorable water flows. the correctly degraded conditions are the national forest adversely impacts water chemistry come about off timing and water yield. large-scale high-intensity wildfires are becoming more frequent and significantly larger. colorado allowed from the 2004 to 2007 and average of 40,000 acres of forest land was burned. the average jumped from 2007 to 214,240,000 acres per year. while wildfires can cause a significant loss of water and hydropower infrastructure, wildfires greatest impact to the community often comes after the fire is out. water flooding and debris flow represents the major and
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recurring threat post-fire. the study found rob can increase tenfold and erosion rates increase up to 100 times over pre- fire conditions. remediation costs quickly run into the tens of millions additionally drinking water treatment costs greater increases nearly all of these are borne by local yield utilities and water providers. federal actions must address both fire suppression and fire prevention. i applaud the senator's introduction of the broad bipartisan act addressing the limited funding of disasters and fire prevention already mentioned that is needed to address fire borrowing, the adequate resources for fire suppression cannot come at the expense of the fire prevention. fire mitigation works and the
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record-setting in colorado raced across denver foothills as an uncontrollable crossfire until it reached an area of the forest that had been previously banned when it dramatically and immediately dropped to a lesser intensity manageable ground fire the farm bill's regional conservation partnership program created and innovative and competitive grant program to encourage and facilitate the watershed partnerships. the resilient federal forest service act builds on the good work of this committee and 14 farm bill by incentivizing collaboration with local governments by expediting permitting for qualifying projects. two of the environmental permitting comes as an impediment to critical time sensitive on the ground actions. the farm bill authorization of the categorical exclusion for
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insect infestations is very much appreciated and is being successfully employed in my district. these are good starts. the deteriorating conditions of the forest didn't come overnight, and we do not contend that immediate action is possible. but immediate resolution is possible that immediate action is imperative. the western water community is committed to working collaboratively over the long haul to improve the forests healthy. i look forward to your questions. >> thank you very much for your testimony. especially emphasizing the need for expediting the policy as best as we can do that. >> thank you chairman roberts and ranking member stabenow and committee members. im by president and ceo of trout
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unlimited. thank you for the opportunity to testify here today on the wildfire management on public lands. the committee is right to focus on this issue. hi levels of wildfire spending including wholesale borrowing from other national forest service programs are substantially undermining the ability of the forest service to manage the national forests. i offered a testimonial to have that 155,000 members many of them use and enjoy the service around the country and in fact have the nation's blue ribbon streams flow across the grain lands of the national forest service. as a husband said the husband said they are becoming larger and more severe countries and factors include changing climate conditions, hot or dry summers, longer more severe drought, increasing development in fire prone areas and of the into the legacy of past timber management fire suppression policies that have left many of our forest areas vulnerable.
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fighting fire significantly disrupt the mission of the forest service at the very whole that the jurisdiction. ironically, the more money that is transferred or reallocated to fight fire, the less money is available for restoration activities to improve the forest resiliency and denies the severity and impact of the fires. we need to address this address the two related problems. first, the midseason unplanned fire borrowing, as i got to the scope and scale of the forest restoration work. a solution to fire funding would allow access to disaster funding and addressing the increasing cost of suppression over time. the wildfire disaster funding act as is the right solution to solve this problem. in addition, we must ask a great scope and pace of restoration on the national forest lands. as it has been mentioned a creative opportunities including
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a small targeted exemptions from the analysis for certain projects, permanent stewardship contracting authorities and expansion of good neighbor authorities. it's important to note however that cutting trees alone will not restore our forests. restoration must be looked at, let's be approached by looking at how to best recover ecological functions and processes that keep the land healthy. closing the relocating roads roads, fixing cultures, removing the unneeded small dams, insuring adequate flows of water, cleaning up abandoned mines and sending are all part of an integrated forest strategy. fundamental is the fact that many but we are talking about our fire adapted into effect need fire to remain healthy. our general approach should be to allow fires to burn in remote areas so long as they do not pose risks to communities. most hazardous fuel reduction since fire suppression should be focused first and foremost on
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the wild wind interface areas where people live. it's also important that we educate landowners about the steps that they can take to make their own homes fire safe. homeowners and local governments must bear more responsibility for the proliferation of homes in fire prone areas and help to work to reduce the risk to homes and firefighters. thank you again for the opportunity to provide testimony on this important issue. unlimited support s. 235 the wildfire disaster funding act of 2015 as a critical and necessary improvement to the existing budgeting process and urged the committee to advance the bill. >> i think the witness. i asked an i ask in a nice consent for the following statements of the letter to the supplementary information.
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i'm going to ask numbers to limit their comments because we do about 11 and we have seven members, we now have six members present. thank you, david. the distinguished senator from colorado. one, two, three, four, five. we ask the cooperation of the witnesses and we thank you for your testimony. can you further elaborate on the need for the maintenance of early successional stage for us to attack or especially with the conservation and environmental benefits that are included from this kind of have to maintain an
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early successional stage forced habitat it seems to me that if we do this, we can avoid a lot of the problems later on. please. >> thank you mr. tremaine. earlier successional forests are basically young forests characterized by the protective cover education that host a wildlife species that you won't find anywhere else so do we have to have them in a landscape. they host a variety of panniers a class of critters] certain about. the numbers are declining across the country in various reasons. so without question we have to employ additional active management to try to get a better balance between the force recognizing amateur force are equally as important as our young forests but when we see the latter declining as
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precipitous raids we have to increase the efforts to address that. a failure would simply mean that these species that are great ecological importance in some regards economic importance will regain their standing on the landscape and a failure to do so frankly from my perspective and i'm a little biased otherwise but i think it would be irresponsible. >> thank you very much. i am going to yield to the distinguished ranking member. >> thank you very ms. chester -- mr. chairman. i would like you to indicate whether or not your organization supports the wildfire disaster funding act if we could just start with that. >> yes. absolutely. >> i think we have unanimous --
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that is a great place to start and let me then go to more specific kinds of questions, and let me start with mr. chris wood. when you talk about the partnerships through your work with charter unlimited as well as the forest service in the past, could you talk about more about additional examples and details to illustrate how to examine the fire transfers to agencies and their partners when you try to do the work that you're doing? >> is happening is that organizations that work with the forest service are giving everything they can to spend as much money as they possibly can before the fire season starts and in places like michigan, we have seen inventories and road inventories that are not being done to help identify places
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where the need to be replaced because they are bleeding sediment into rivers and we've seen lots of endangered species work that would be done but can't be done of course the more we do to offset the need to the species the less social and economic disruption we have an individually as we said earlier we are basically robbing peter to pay paul you're taking money away from programs that help to model a manitoba landscape that create economic opportunities and jobs in order to fight fire. >> thank you very much. can you talk more about your work in work and the forest service national advisory committee on the 2012 forest service planning rule to use the new opportunities to improve the way that the agency develops management plans that will reduce fire risk and restore wildlife habitat? spec i think the primary impetus is with regard to the implementation fact that you are referring to.
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we are very interested in the idea of the collaboratives bringing people to work together during project planning, during the forest plan. so that there is a greater buy-in. we feel quite strongly and i want to be careful because i don't want to speak for the members of the committee. but i think it's fair to suggest that there is broad consensus that if we can reduce their anger people have more funds to spend on the conservation. >> i wondered if he might speak a little bit more about your observations over the years. you started you set said in 1979 with the forest service and what implications. i think it is pretty clear that when you look at wildfires over the last ten to 15 years we are seeing an increase in the severity of the fires supporting
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and covering a lot more ground in the shorter periods of time which creates problems from a safety standpoint 40s cruised are out there on the landscape trying to take fire lines they are seeing a lot more fires where fire gets up into the tops of the trees and it can spread very rapidly. if they are large enough they can create their own weather system and much of the large amount of money that's being spent on five years is 1% of the fires that escape the initial containment and then the landscape characteristics are such in the forest characteristics are such that they become catastrophic carefully. much like totally the firefighters but the communities in and around the fires in danger. >> thank you mr. chair i would
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just comment i won't have a chance to ask but i'd really appreciate your mentioning the regional conservation program and look forward to talking with you more about that i think that is one of the successes of the last farm bill and we are hopeful that we will continue to be a positive tool. >> center. >> thank you mr. chair. what thoughts do you have on things we can do to reduce the cost of repressing fires quick >> we need to invest more in the passenger's reduction in the pre- suppression activities. it's the same approach as going to a dentist in getting your teeth cleaned. it's insurance that was trying to help not get a cavity and the same principle applies in the forest. we have to actively manage these forests. if you look at the predominance
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of out of the western united states these are fire adapted forests. these depend on fire and the problem that we have out there today is our own aching over the 100 years we have been very aggressive in putting out every fire that starts and not allowing a fire to have a natural role in the landscape and the ecosystems. because of that we have had these large buildups aboveground fuel and standing fuel so if we get a fire going now to create the problems we have to be actively managing come actively looking at reducing hazard. ..
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the fire agencies such as the for server and peel them, whether there's an interest or whether they think there would be any good outcomes investing research and looking at new technology to help these folks out on the line. >> what about the structure of relationships? i'm from north carolina. without a lot of firefighters go out wes west to assist. how would you assess that cooperative relationship when you need additional resources to
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go out there? >> it's critical. this year at its peak of this fire season we had over 30,000 people on our fire lines nationwide fighting fire. so without having the ability to move crews whether they are contractor crews, federal employees, without the ability to move those folks when we need them with the most fires, most critical fires are, we would have a much worse situation. i really appreciate the fact that your state and others have pitched in over the years and made people available. >> i want to keep to my time because the chair scares me, but -- [laughter] but i do appreciate all the witnesses. i appreciate all the witnesses being here and would appreciate any feedback after the hearing in my office. thank you. thank you, mr. chair. >> senator klobuchar.
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>> thank you much mr. chairman. minnesota, a part, employing 40,000 people in the forest industry, $9.7 billion. it's what my grandpa did after the mines closed down. so it's in your india to my heart. i like so many people talk about today and most concerned about the facts that the transfers the money which has to take place for emergency providing fires is taking away from what we can do to prevent these fires from happening in the first place. budget transfers prevented the force from conducting fuel reductions burnt on one or 65 acres this year. this matter and protects the forest from wildfires but also the surrounding communities. mr. treese, you talked about communities and water infrastructure is impacted on often destroyed by wildfires. agencies , that agencies had to
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adopt their procedures? >> thank you, senator. they have done the best but it's an enormous investment. summer larger can reduce have been able to create redundanci redundancies, interconnects with cooperating neighboring agencies, neighboring utilities, and created or established multiple watershed sources for their water. for the most part that is not possible in rural colorado, western colorado in my district, mostly small communities. that is simply cost prohibitive. >> exactly. mr. stewart, what role can private forest land owners play in restoring forest health? >> i speak mostly to the private land owner but, in fact, it's a corporate ever. i also talk about neighbors and public lands and private lands our neighbors around the country. they both need to be actively managed and the lack of management combined with the
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climate conditions that we find in the drought particularly in the west are all contributing factors to where we find ourselves. interestingly this gets back to the budget. if we spend money on the budget, maintain the programs which continue to improve the land and invest in the state and local programs that the park service has, it improves it over time and it makes, mitigates risk so something went to continue to invest in. >> thank you. mr. wood, i came back to my original point, what do you think we should be doing beyond putting one into fighting fires? what should we be doing to change some of our policies, craft solutions to address forest health? and along those lines, what concrete steps should be taken to assist the forest service in making the force plan? in minnesota they haven't done, they haven't reached the goals
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of how many trees should be cut and its creating a further problem because the fires and then go more rampant. >> very simply, secure the budgetary authority of the agency to fund these things as the webinar, natural disasters, as opposed to taking the money from the budget and allow them personal resources to get the work done on the ground that has been identified through the planning process. >> thank you. go ahead. mr. wood. >> i think it's been said before an ounce of prevention is worth a pound after. we should take steps to make sure communities are safe by doing hazards fuel treatments around those communities making sure we're protecting homes by taking fire wise measures and operating a larger landscapes in terms of our restoration. but the first and went to deuce six the fire borrowing problem.
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>> thank you for your work as well. i'm out of time. i'll give you a question on the record. i'm sure you look forward to that. >> i would like to remind the new members, not the new members, the members who have come to the committee at this particular time that we are on a form an unscheduled trying to make the boat. senator ernest. >> thank you, mr. chairman very much. thank you all for joining us today. i'm sorry to join the discussion so late but if you would come heavy major agencies or organizations utilized or witnessed, utilization of the national guard forces? and any of these forest fire or fire activities? if you could just pleased share with us that experience. >> the season was the first time since i played 2006 when the national guard and military forces were called in to supplement the firefighting work, workforce.
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we utilized the forest service and other agencies responsible for managing those incidents, utilize many hundreds if not thousands of military personnel. >> anybody else have experience in utilizing any of the national guard? we do have some wonderful army guard and air guard personnel out there and they just want to we shouldn't overlook the capabilities that are available with those types of response units. so that's all ahead. thank you, mr. chair. >> i thank the senator. senator bennet. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to say to hi to a man ofe people i represent in colorado how much we appreciate your holding this hearing. i think that testimony has been excellent, and what comes through to me is that there is a compelling consensus that what we are doing now does not work, and that we've got to change it. it's long overdue and you bring
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attention to this issue i think comes at a critical moment when we can get it done. look, you are two big issues. the first is, in the name of fiscal responsibility we are managing our forests and the most fiscally responsible manner we can manage them which is to say that we are taking the money that could be spent on mitigation and on restoration and we using it to suppress fires. and then there's not much left to mitigate or restore, which is why we talk about penny-wise and pound-foolish. that's what it is. it's ridiculous and we've got to stop. nobody at the local apple would accept this way of managing their resources, and we shouldn't accept it either. the second part i know it's fashionable, we having debate in congress about what the role of the federal government should be. anybody was downstream of these headwaters in colorado needs to do about the condition of the forest in colorado. we are all in this together.
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we are one nation and this, i can't think of an issue it's more true than here. so what we are doing right now i think fails the test in terms of fiscal responsibility failed the test in terms of anybody's perspective of what federalism means that hope we can get this legislation passed. i thank you all again for your excellent testimony. mr. treese, it's been great to work with you over the past number of years and before the process was difficult, but it resulted in a collaborative product that everyone could support and we using the benefits, to projects as you make in your testimony are underway in colorado to treat 3000 acres of forest affected by insect and disease epidemics. in the short term as i mentioned it's clear we have to fix this borrowing problem but it will get you could explain to us from the perspective as water provide what is so critical to address that and how these projects are working in colorado? >> thank you, senator. the projects are, in fact, working but they're working on a limited basis.
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they are small acreage is that there critically important. it is prevention. it is the commercial says, pay me now or pay me later. this is an opportunity to treat the forest both of a categorical exclusion and, in fact, the program you mentioned also uses the extension of the good neighbor policy to work on both federal and private lands cooperatively and conjointly in neighboring force to address the larger watershed that is used by both the city of grand junction and the larger water district around that city, about roughly 100,000 people. >> that's their point of of consensus we've heard which is the significance of collaboration in order to get this done. fire doesn't have any boundaries. mr. wood, i'm running out of time. it's my own fault, i blab of which i don't usually do, but it's not even the subject of assuring tha but i want to thanu for being the effort on good samaritan legislation to address
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the acid mine drainage that is polluted streams across the western this is something we really need to address. i wonder if you could spend less than a minute in talking about where you are in the work and we think we are headed. i have 21 seconds. >> i will be brief. thank you for the kind words. there is essential to problems with abandoned mines. there are thousands around the west affecting water quality out there and one is that we need relief from liability that's implicit in the clean water act and were making progress there. number two, we need more funding to clean those up. >> mr. chairman, thank you. >> i thank the senator from colorado. if the smoke is billowing we know we have a problem. coupe, you're up next.
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>> boy, mr. chairman, and treachery, for holding this hearing. it's good to hear from stakeholders on this issue. it's an important issue which deals with budgetary impacts as threats to our national resources on federal state private land. so, mr. chairman, i am pleased to have these very distinguished leaders in our conservation forestry and wildlife communities who all recognize the urgent need for changes in our current forest management policy. love hearing today i think is focused on firefighting, borrowing with the cost of fighting fires rising to $3 billion this year. but i would, we've got to find a more effective means of paying for fighting those fires and eliminate the borrowing from forest management funds but i also believe, mr. chairman, that it is imperative that we couple
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funding firefighting with improve forest management. failure to improve forest management will result in a continuation of dangerous increases in forest fires and damage to private property into the environment. there are three things i think and be done to improve forest management dramatically. the three changes i would suggest that it wanted to would suggest that want to get our panels reaction but first would be to expand the use of categorical exclusions. second to reduce litigating risks and third implementation of large landscape management plans, one of which is on the ground in the black hills national forest in south dakota has been proven to be very effective in battling that behind beagle infestation we have had. so mr. chairman, i just think that once again we have a problem some believe can be solved by throwing more money at it, but i believe that if we can take a measured common sense approach to managing our forests
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and decoding in africa federal agency to manage them effectively we can make much better use of anti-bridges the funding that is dedicated fighting fires. i'd like to get the panels reaction if i might to just their thoughts about three things i've suggested and asked the question, do you believe that these following three items, if implemented, would benefit force management was categorical exclusion, expansion under nepa, reducing litigator frist went collaborative force projects are implemented and don't use of arbitration as an alternative dispute resolution mechanism and then finally increased use of large landscape management plans. mr. stewart. >> i'll speak to the landscape approach which i see as a partnership, a collaborative approach both public and private. i think as public or our biggest strength is and the biggest opportunity that we have is in focus on a, objective based on a
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large-scale landscape. i think that's a big part of the solution. >> on the categorical exclusion issue i think in areas word you've got broad agreement among multiple interests have come together in some term of collaborative, i think relaxing some of the process requirements is probably a good idea. i would be nervous about doing that writ large because what whu do is you into create antagonism people will feel cut out of the process. so that's my only comment. >> i would also like to comment on the landscape idea. i know out in eastern oregon, my labor organization is working as part of a collaborative effort on stewardship with communities in eastern oregon, with other stakeholders, timber companies in, environmental groups,
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bringing people together to talk about landscapes and what needs to be done in trying to iron out and reach agreement on as many issues in terms of how we should manage the plant and but we should manage that land for in terms of come in terms of timber and other values. we are having some success doing that. so i think those kinds of efforts we bring the stakeholders together and then told everybody accountable for coming up with a solution, i think that's a good approach to supplement this idea of landscape. because as has been pointed out, fire knows no geopolitical boundaries and we cannot just treat federal lands and let state and private lands go untreated because that's not going to solve the problem. >> yes to all three. >> good. that's the answer i was looking for. thank you, mr. chairman.
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>> i thank the senator from south dakota. he has really focused on the one question i was going to ask with regards to the landscaping issue. i appreciate that very much and i think that analyst for answering. senator boozman, let me remind all numbers of that the vote has started and we have informed the colloquium will be arriving soon. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i just want to take a second to highlight the efforts of my home state college, congressman westerman was a professional engineer and the only four star in congress. he worked in forestry for two decades, earned his degree from yale university in 2001. he said diverse guy. he played football at the university of arkansas, so his legislation, the resilient federal forest act, i strongly support the bill.
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i'd like to ask consent that we include a bipartisan op-ed that congressman westerman and his democratic colleague had written titled resilient federal force ask to treat symptoms and disease into the record. >> without objection. >> very quickly, mr. stewart, while these issues are largely high profile in the west, we have serious impacts in the south. i'm really pleased that you are witness from that region which includes a significant length of federal forest, private family land ownership an assortment of things. while i know you're bored focus largely on the west, how are the issues in the south similar or different when it comes to wildfire? >> again we talked about no to political boundaries and certainly we've lots of wildfire, german not as large but they're all catastrophic when we have them. we have again the impact on the
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budget affects those states not in the west just like it affects states in the west. as we look at the state and private programs and the mitigation efforts and the employment of the service for stores and others who are doing work for private land owners, they are so the impact outside the west as a result of these fires and with the budget is handled. it's a very significant impact. >> what more can we do on public lands since much of the inaction stems from lack of public land management? is their position on the reform bill that is before this committee? >> our focus is on private lands and that's where our focus is. but certainly the more management we have on both public and private lands, the more successful we are going to be in mitigating that only the risks but the exposure that we have for not just from the wildfire but also as we reported
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in our report we submitted to the committee actually to water as well. that's not excluded, exclusive to the west. >> had you taken a position on the? >> not that i know of, no. >> very good. what more can we do distinguish markets to help address these wildfires and other issues? >> you and kind of a market person, so i think it's not a field of dreams approach necessary that we take. but something has to get this virtuous cycle started. i think that grant programs that can begin to develop markets for force that need to be restored, public or private, is most appropriate as well as programs that identify those markets in the last them for a bit relates to research. i'm in the renewable institute report at georgia tech a lot of the focus is on the bio-based
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materials. it would be the backbone i believe of the future of our green chemistry materials and industry of the future. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you all for being here. >> let me advisors with eight minutes left. senator casey, if you could wrap up for us. >> thank you thank you very much. i want to thank the witnesses for being here today. we're grateful for your testimony. i wanted to david rutley questions to our first two witnesses. and i say this as representing a state where we've got something about, something in the order of 57% of our state is forced to dig with about 87,000 people work in the forest this is so this is a major issue for pennsylvania. mr. dessecker, he spoke of budget certainty or lack of budget certainty and you also talk about the funding for wildlife suppression affected
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the ability of the forest service to meet wildlife management and invasive species management. can you talk about those two issues? i know they are related but it bears repeating how devastating at least in my judgment sequestration has been, among other problems you've had to face with regard, or the conscious faced with regard to budget uncertainty. >> with regard to uncertainty, it's rampant within agency at this point because although they the budget they don't know what proportion is going to be called major or major so they don't know exactly what portion they can spend. thank you -- they do get directedirected to watch what to and become have the fire season is going before they can implement projects they have already planned. >> we appreciate you raising that. i know we're very limited on time. mr. dugan, i would ask you, i noted in your testimony about 20 years for fighting fires, a good
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part of your life. and the focus that you brought on the show well trained firefighting staff, can you walk us through that basic concern that you have? >> yet. there is a system in place, interagency system in place that is put together to certify wild land firefighters and their record to take certain training, certain on the job training and they are evaluated on the job. and then if they are found proficient, then they are certified to do certain jobs in the organization. and again part of the problem is, we've got a lot within the federal government, we've got a lot of people that we invested a lot of money in and have a lot of years that are at that age that they are making plans to retire and walk out the door.
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and within is going to go that knowledge in those skills. the federal government over all has not been, in my opinion, done a really good job of secession planning. notches in the fire organization but certainly across many other agencies. so that's one of the things we're facing. the other problems we have are budget related. about the agency's, if they have concerns over the budget, typically the first thing they set aside to try to save money is training and travel, which is sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy for not being able to do a good job of planning within the future leadership of the fire management workforce. >> mr. chairman, in light of the time i will submit questions for the record. >> appreciate that. this will conclude a hearing
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today. i want to thank each of our witnesses for sharing your views of wildfire. a testimony, we will take action to my fellow members. we would ask for any additional questions you have for the record be submitted to the committee clerk five business days or by 5 p.m. next thursday november 12. the committee is adjourned. [inaudible conversations] >> coming up where they will bring a discussion on afghanistan's future with an afghan politicians or does the country's interior affairs administrator in 2013-14.
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that would belie that 3:30 p.m. eastern on c-span. coming up next a discussion on war and the challenges of international law including those posed by cyber warfare. panelists include this was for the first director jennifer international law, the sub for strategic international studies is the host of this event. >> good morning. they succumb to this isp or my name is jim lewis. i work here. we have a really good held today. we pressured of an coming out a single be a lively discussion. let me introduce the panelists to you. will have their biographies on our website but we'll start with
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ambassador valentin zellweger from the swiss foreign minister a career diplomat who has worked at the u.n., help establish the icc, and now is at the cabinet for the first present of the icc. spent i won the cabinet spent that's what i said. so we are in agreement. encouraging. and is currently ahead of the direct of public international on legal adviser to the swiss foreign ministry. next up is catherine, professor at georgetown -- catherine lotrionte, director visited from all sides and global security. catherine is an immense amount of work and she was the advisor to brent scowcroft. ..
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former special counsel to dod, the general counsel's office for a long time, and currently is doing a lot with csis and other security issues. one of the real experts we call on here in washington. so i don't think we'll do very much. we'll ask the ambassador to make some opening remarks.
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after he speaks i'll ask each of three panelists to comment, throw in their own views, and then have also interaction and throw it occupy for questions. let's get started. >> thank you very much. thank you for organizing this event and for giving us this opportunity to discuss the challenges of new technology and i would just like -- as you aid, i'm the legal adviser of the swiss important ministry and i'd like to -- the with foreign ministry and i'd like to give mison the issue. switzerland is not a super power, neither in terms of privacy and development of laws and we're not known for engaging in warfare. what is our interest and the interest is very specific. switzerland, as you know, was and always?
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-- -- over time we have encounters, all of us have encountered ex-many new challenges to the application of international maritime law, new technologies, new methods of warfare, and the matter always is, can you use existing rules or do you have to adopt them? and that is my take, and how best to adopt them. that's where you get into the rules of setting business. if you look back, the first internationally -- convention was in '64, 1864, and since then we have known -- how you die -- revolution of warfare, and the issue of new technology came up very quickly.
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if you look at the, for example, the niba code, it outlaws the use of poison so they already dealt with weapon systems that were, in their view, not exactly compatible with the tenets of enter mental humanitarian law. so, the -- international humanitarian law. and you have the development of the dum-dum bullets and all new weapon systems have to be debt with, -- dealt with and there ae two basic ways to deal with them. either outlaw them or try to see how you can apply the existing law on them. and to my knowledge, the only system that was outlawed in the preventive manner was blinding laser weapons. you have air warfare, if you look at the treaty, you won't
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find much about air warfare so it was possible over time to prioritize laws applicable to warfare, and one is probably the main activity in warfare, if you look at the law, you won't find much, and still it could be regulated. so, if we now go to the challenges that the subject of this discussion here, fiber, -- cyber, the first question is can you deal with them under existing law and you use existing law. under cyber, there was a u.n. group of governmental experts that issued a report that say that basically international law, in particular the u.s. charter -- the u.n. charter is
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applicable to cyberspace. the interesting thing is that they cut out the applicablity of humanitarian law. so that still needs to be debated. likewise, on laws on weapon systems, there were discussions within the ccw systems, the conventional weapons discussions in geneva there seemed to be -- owl to the there is still not a commonly agreed definition of war, there is a basic consensus that in the law as we know it is applicable. this being said, that does not solve all the problems, and that where is we come to the need for clarification, and that is something that in the past has always been done when you are
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facing a new phenomenon, how do you apply the law, which in principle is applicable, but how can you really make it operational for the different questions? and we all know that in cyber space there are specific questions that will have to be dealt with that are very difficult to solve if you just look at the few of them, what is how to define use of force in cyber space. how do you distinguish between military and civilian objects, all these questions, there are many questions, what is an armed attack, in cyberspace? and at one stage there will probably have to be some kind of consensus. and the question is, how can we achieve a commonly agreed consensus? because as long as there is no international consensus, each and every country will apply the
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rules they deem to be applicable. look likewise, for the lethal awe thon mouse weapon systems, what degree of human control is necessary, for example, one of the main questions, or the whole issue of responsibility. how can you in the end ensure the state or individual responsibility if you have -- just roaming around and making war. is it, for example, possible to program robots to include in their programs very subtle and judgment -- value judgments like, for example, personality. how can you program that into a robot? these matters have to be solved at one stage, although there is a consensus in principle which can apply the law, but we still
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have to know more how to do that. that is where my emphasis comes in as a diplomat. how can you achieve the consensus and make sure we all have the same approach. the ease -- well, just negotiate other new convention and then you have it. now, that on some issues may be a good approach, and it has been in the past used on weapons systems, mainly to outlaw weapons systems, land mines or -- but to negotiate a convention takes a long time, and then you have to wait until all the states ratify them, and again, that takes decades in many cases. so it's not a very efficient way to deal with it. in the past few years, there was -- because codifyication,
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and there is a soft law mechanism -- i mentioned a group that look into the issues. there were other attempts to cope with new phenomenon. one that is most famous here is phenomenon of security at military companies that came up big-time with the iraq war, and there were all these questions, how do you apply exist can international law to private companies and there was a process initiated in switzerland that assembled all the interest states, those who contract private military and security companies, the territorial states, and also host states, and try to come up with clarification of the existing law to try to understand what really is applicable to private
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military and security companies, and although there was -- there were many -- it will not be possible to find a consensus between, for example, the territorial and the contracting states, because it was felt that the divergence of the views was too big. in the end it was possible to agree on the document. the document was then submitted to the united nations, and today there are 53 states that have signed it, among them the united states, which were very part of the whole process. you have the united nations that apply also, that stick to the document, and you have nato, that has formally signed it. so that would be one approach to regulate in case it was possible to clarify and to find the consensus on these issues.
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another possibility could be, if you look at the path of different processes -- i mixed the malta process, there was on other issues, different processes, and one of the weaknesses of these processes that -- often they are not regionally -- if you look at the -- just to take one from the cyber world, the countries involved were mainly from the western world. now, if you wish to get into the universal world that are respected by everybody, you have to try to give ownership of those to other regions, and we are now in the process of trying to create a new regular meeting of states of the geneva convention, dealing with international humanitarian law matters, which would for the first time create a dedicated
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forum to discuss these matters, and one possibility may be to then have the discussions within a forum that would centralize, so to speak, and would ensure that you have all the different -- you would have the 197 signers of the geneva convention assembled in one group and it would provide a forum that would allow for furthering the common understanding of this new -- these new challenges and it could be imaginable, for example, to have discussions, either on how to apply laws to specifically deal with some of the issues that are highlighted, or what would be a possibility but we would for the first time have a forum that is really dedicated to these issues. it would not be a u.n. ad hoc
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mechanism, created to deal with them, but we could really focus on these questions. and that is where the diplomats come in because we then try on the basis of what the experts come up with, indications how to deal with matters, we would then have to try to channel them into political processes to make sure that international humanitarian law continues to be meaningful and be applied with the technologies. thank you very much. >> thank you. let me make a couple remarks. i should open -- i thick i'm the only person on the panel who isn't a lawyer, so i don't know if that's good or bad. but i was the -- for the three successful group of u.n. expert and wrote the language you're talking about. it's interesting, and i want to flag a couple of issues for the group. i wrote what i thought was a brilliant definition of use of
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force. it was roundly rejected. you said we prefer to keep this an area of national discretion, it's a very difficult issue inch the preparation for the last round of talk, the chair and i independently concluded that in a international law would not be the sticking point, that norms would be the sticking opinion, and we were wrong. the application of international law what the most difficult issue, and we did not get agreement on it until 5:40 on friday night of the last day of the negotiations, which they end at 6:00 so a damn close run but -- the use of force -- it's not clear how you apply international law without defining these but going to be very difficult. some of the other things you might want to think about, there's an interest in the -- the one that comes up in the u.n. is the application of the international law to drones, and i hesitate to bring that up but
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the question for me notice so much robots but you have new kinds of military activities, new technologies, new tack texass and -- tactics and it will take a while to get a agreement. there is consensus -- i was surprise it. you would think the chinese and russians who we always pick on, would not be in favor of applying international law to these new terms of conflict. don't think that's right. we managed to slip in some geneva language into the report without saying it came from the geneva convention. it's a bit odd. they're willing to put the language in on proportionality and discrimination but we couldn't say it reflected international agreement. so a difficult issue when you think about how to deal with new technology. one of the questions that maybe we can touch on, both drones and cyberinvolve a high degree of
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clandestine activity and it's this blurring of distinction between clandestine and military that makes it difficult to reach common understanding. so, this bill a project we're working on here at csis here in cooperation with the u.n. how to rethink the application of international law, in geneva. so, with that, why don't i -- with that gloomy opening from the trenches, it's difficult to get agreement o. these things. we thought it would be easy. start with david and just go down the row. please keep your remarks relatively short if you could but focus and then we'll have an interactive discussion. >> thank you very much, jim. and thank you to csis. it's a pleasure to be here and i goes be very brief, thought i would identify in this context the make of the law of war to new technology and challenges and questions and a couple principles that are informative and reflect the issues i saw' in
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my time four years in the pentagon. in terms of challenges in this area with respect to the law of war, i think that actually the recently published dod law of war manual points it out at the john set on the chapter on cyber operations, this is an area of law that is not well settled. it's going to take further development, and even though united states government and a number of governments are quick to point out that the law of war doesn't need to change, that international humanitarian law doesn't need to evolve. there's always room for discussion and debate and ultimately a matter of applying it to specific circumstances. that's one challenge, how we can establish application. me second challenge in the context of cyberoperations is the question about exactly what jim was picking up on, the -- i call the threshold question. cyberoperations below the threshold of use of force, and this is an issue that is not
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really addressed in a meaningful way in the first manual but the second one, which referred to as 2.0, this is squarely addressed. but if you look at, for example, the president's remarks about the attack, the 2015 document from april dot not refer to the sony attack as one that would -- article 51 in the u.n. charter so below the threshold, but in both cases the documents and the president's remarks do indicate there's a violation of some sort of normal state behavior. the opm attack, the cyber attack on health insurance companies, it would be fair to put these in the capacity gore of activities that fall below the threshold of use of force, certainly below 2.4. so further legal work is needed to develop an effective
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international legal framework, including law of war for cyberoperations, and i think that those are the same kinds of questions we have to address with respect to autonomy and autonomous capabilities, and difficult issues to flag, the ambassador flagged a number of them. what law applies -- there's a debate about countermeasures. these are tough questions. there are complex distinctions, the difference between armed conflict and peacetime. when is it not wartime? these are baseic questions that drive government thouz apply law. and the difference between combatants and nonstate actors, and then the question about attribution. which are relevant not only to cyber operations but also relevant to operations involving nonstate actors. you look at the ukraine, yemen, syria today, these are all very significant issues. nothing to do with cyber
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security or cyberoperations per se. a couple of quick principles. one is transparency and openness. the obama administration has been very clear in n stressing this through speeches by senior lawyers in the administration. the basic idea that we have to make as much information about our legal framework public as possible. mindful of the fact there are limits in terms of sources and methods and operational security considerations, but you look at the president's archive speech, going back to may of 2009, it is something that has been a theme throughout the course of the administration, and the other thing i'd flag in terms of principles i just that through this kind of openness you can really identify constraints, which are legal in nature. this the soft law. the 2.0 process, which limit our -- involve limited ways peer review ump it does involve a number of other countries,
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russia and china are involved, and they have a law firm involved, it appears. so, the role the gge, the role of the norms process that's underway, and the debate about what we make of the response of the u.s. government or other governments with streak attack like the sony attacks. the only thing i'd point out there's policy transparencies, too, and the autonomy, it's 300.09, and taught the document it makes it clear that the role of international law is going to sort of be applied with respect not only the design and development but the fielding and test, employment of these capabilities, and i was one of the two lawyers who was involved in helping fashion that autonomy directive. i know that plays a significant role in thinking it through but ultimately the tough work is
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understanding what the technology would be intended to do, the intended effects and how the law would apply. so i think those are the two thing is mention in terms of principle and just end with the notion that through identifying those constraints, we empower our decisionmakers who are in a better position to cooperate and collaborate. >> let me just do a couple of quick notes before we turn to gary. there's language in the last report that talks about you agree not attack critical infrastructure in ways that aren't consistent with international law. the original phrasing was you agree not to attack critical infrastructure in peacetime. there were some nations that objected to the use of the word pea peacetime." so we put in "consistent with international law" that you have not agreed to not attack critical infrastructure. you agreed you will only attack it in situations that aren't
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covered by the law of warfare. on david's point about article 2.4, the renunsation of the use of force to federal and international disputes and article 51, the inherent right of self-defense in the u.n. charter. there's an inherent ambiguity. swingsal ambiguity, i -- intentional ambiguity, thing, between a commitment by states not use force a provision that allows them to use force, and this is one of the more powerful tensions you see. we're in a different world, and any negotiation we do -- this is one problem i have with tallon -- just at the u.n. last week, and the issue that has come up is whatever rules we come up with will have to be rules that are acceptable and make sense to the nonalign movement, the g-77 to the countries that aren't participating. this is a crucial change. gary, please. >> thanks, jim. this is a really fun topic.
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i'm going to start -- i don't always do this but because there's detachment of marines here, i'm speaking in my personal capacity on behalf of anybody else, even if i knew what it wanted me to say, i'm not saying it. this is -- autonomous weapon systems and cyberare examples we need to work to apply humanitarian international law, or the law of con conflict to two new technologies because they represent two different ends thereof spectrum. there is autonomous weapons systems and we work really, really hard to come up with interesting legal issues that have to do with autonomous weapon systems, but there aren't any, really. they're lawful. the current law on conflict covers them fine. everything is good, where we are now. if we look over the horizon,
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maybe ten or 20 years down the road, talk about artificial intelligence where the system is able to select and engage targets lethally with very little or know guidance on the front end, in other words, not a series of criteria applies to selecting targets. now we're talking about artificial intelligence, that creates all kinds of interesting issues aside from cyber, which is always interesting. but that's also like skynet, and we know skynet is a bad idea. terminator thing and all that. >> speak for yourself. >> artificial intelligence would likely decide that humans were the problem and we would be in trouble. that's a completely different issue. where we are right now, not really many issues. they're to some extent autonomous weapon systems in place now, they comply with the law. they're really good at applying sets of criteria which is where a lot of international lawyers want it to be, with long check
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checklifts how it applies. so from my perspective not as big challenge as people would like to us believe. cyber, completely unique, and as i think about how we take the law of armed conflict and apply it to cyber warfare, especially today on the 30th of october, i'm mindful white be like i took my son's batman halloween costume and i try to get into it. i might be able to stretch into exit' might look lick a husky batman but i wouldn't look like what it was meant to look like. my son looks like batman. i look like something similar to batman. that's what we are looking at when applying this to cyber there are a few reasons for that and i'll lay out three of them. there are many interesting things to talk about here but
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just three two of them have to do with the role of states in armed conflict. the first one is the states in and operations -- one thing that traditional -- premised on that states had a monopoly on violence. we have the rise of nonstate groups but usually a state on one side and -- that's sort of started to break down. it's broken on the cyber side because most of the stuff that is going on in that cyber, we think can, at least a lot of it, has to do with nonstate groups or individuals or individuals who are loosely failated with states, creating all kinds of problems with the application of law because you have groups that don't care about law and aren't interested in applying it. that's on the operations side. on the law side when we talk about the role of states, ec came out of the custom and
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practice of nations. nations engaged in armed conflict. some things worked, some didn't, some things were horrible and everybody agreed they were horrible, and they became unlawful generally first because of the practice of states stated sometimes later were codified like the geneva convention and "the hague" rules. often most of the time began as state practice right now if we look at -- customary law can only be made by the practice of states, not by the practice of individuals or nonstate group. when you talk about cyber operations, let's count all the operations that states have admitted to engaging in. yes. none. really. right? we have aramco, sony, and people pointing fingers at other people who might have done which or what but states are put can up their hands and saying, we did that ex-here's why, and we think this ought to be the law.
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this is really an impediment to development of law in the area, and jim referred to this. states aren't ready to commit to that they want to law to do so they're not putting up their hand and saying this is what we're doing and why. we're at a very early stage here and it's a big impediments to the development -- the normal development of the law of armed conflict. it's difficult. and then finally, talk about one more thing and that is -- sort of playing on something we talked about before, looking at the application of -- specific application of the war of armed conflict. all the rules were developed to deal with kinetic events. so, things break, things door steroid, people are injured or killed. all bad things. cyber operations have the capability of making life difficult for civilians, damaging national security, without any of those kinetic
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effects. sometimes cyber operations have the potential to have kinetic effects but not all the time. the law really isn't made to deal with those things. yes, we can start saying, well, maybe we should talk about functionality or loss of functionality, which is one thing we talked about in the group, but i'm not convinced that's such a good idea. whatever rules we make for cyber, if we're change the entire body of armed conflict, also apply to kinetic warfare do we want -- would states agree to a rule that it if we lift the functionality of an object that it is damaged and the rules apply. if you drive a military convoy across the bridge, the bridge loses functionality for a period of time, is that really an asnack you're just using the bridge to drive things across it. all kind things that flow from trying to expand and stretch the body of law. i


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