Restoring California’s Forests to Reduce Wildfire Risks Will Take Time, Billions of Dollars and a Broad Commitment | Best States

By Roger Bales and Martha Conklin

Many of California’s 33 million acres of forests face widespread threats stemming from past management choices. Today the U.S. Forest Service estimates that of the 20 million acres it manages in California, 6-9 million acres need to be restored.

Forest restoration basically means removing the less fire-resistant smaller trees and returning to a forest with larger trees that are widely spaced. These stewardship projects require partnerships across the many interests who benefit from healthy forests, to help bring innovative financing to this huge challenge.

The California Wildfires in Photos

california wildfires

We are engineers who work on many natural resource challenges, including forest management. We’re encouraged to see California and other western states striving to use forest management to reduce the risk of high-severity wildfire.

But there are major bottlenecks. They include scarce resources and limited engagement between forest managers and many local, regional and state

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Survey shows broad bipartisan support for a stronger focus on science

ARLINGTON, VA — A recent survey commissioned by Research!America on behalf of a working group formed to assess America’s commitment to science shows overwhelming support for science across political parties. A strong majority of Americans agree that “the COVID-19 pandemic is a disruptive event and requires urgent refocusing of America’s commitment to science.” On a bipartisan basis, Americans:

  • Believe science benefits them (88%);
  • Would pay $1 more a week in taxes to support scientific research (66%);
  • Believe America should maintain its global leadership in science (89%);
  • View basic scientific research that advances the frontiers of knowledge as necessary and should be supported by the federal government (77%);
  • Support incentives for private sector investment in science and technology (76%);
  • Express concern about the number of children without home internet access (64%); and
  • Agree the U.S. is at a critical point for committing to a major new initiative to assure
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Amazon sees broad audience for its palm recognition tech

SEATTLE (AP) — Amazon has introduced new palm recognition technology in a pair of Seattle stores and sees a broader potential audience in stadiums, offices and other gated or secured locations.

Customers at the stores near Amazon’s campus in Washington can flash a palm for entry into secured areas and buy goods.

The company chose palm recognition, according to Dilip Kumar, vice president of Physical Retail & Technology, because it’s more private than other biometric technology, and a person would be required to purposefully flash a palm at the Amazon One device to engage.

“And it’s contactless, which we think customers will appreciate, especially in current times,” Kumar wrote in a blog post Tuesday.


Like the human fingerprint, every palm is unique. Unlike fingerprints, the palm is not used for broader identification purposes because more body specific information is needed. Any palm image proffered for use is never stored on

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NASA, US Space Force Establish Foundation for Broad Collaboration

NASA, US Space Force Establish Foundation for Broad Collaboration

PR Newswire

WASHINGTON, Sept. 22, 2020

WASHINGTON, Sept. 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — While advancing plans for unprecedented lunar exploration under the Artemis program, NASA also is building on a longstanding partnership with the Department of Defense with a new memorandum of understanding announced today by NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine and U.S. Space Force (USSF) Chief of Space Operations Gen. John “Jay” Raymond.

NASA Logo. (PRNewsFoto/NASA) (PRNewsFoto/) (PRNewsfoto/NASA)
NASA Logo. (PRNewsFoto/NASA) (PRNewsFoto/) (PRNewsfoto/NASA)

The agreement, discussed during a Sept. 22 Mitchell Institute virtual event, commits the two organizations to broad collaboration in areas including human spaceflight, U.S. space policy, space transportation, standards and best practices for safe operations in space, scientific research, and planetary defense.

“NASA’s partnerships are vital to ensuring America continues to lead the world in the peaceful uses of outer space,” Bridenstine said. “This agreement with the U.S. Space Force reaffirms and continues

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