Like many people, I’ve been monitoring, with dread, updates on the wildfires burning in California. The Camp Fire, which is burning north of Sacramento, has become the deadliest and most destructive wildfire on record for the state.

That fire is another sad reminder that more must be done to reduce fuel loads in many forests. Although this is a serious challenge, it’s also a significant opportunity for environmentalists to innovate. Fires not only kill and destroy property; they also damage watersheds and habitat. So environmentalists have much to gain from avoiding catastrophic wildfire, especially if they can find new ways to do so while minimizing the environmental impacts associated with traditional, commercial timber harvesting.

Reducing fuel loads is expensive. Even where projects avoid bureaucratic delays and litigation, paying for the projects can be a challenge. At a recent event hosted by PERC and the Heritage Foundation, the U.S. Forest Service’s…

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