After a season marked with catastrophic wildfires in the West, government forestry and conservation leaders in Arizona have accelerated a tree-thinning program in the Coconino National Forest. The partnership between the Nature Conservancy and U.S. Forest Service is supposed to jumpstart thinning under a Future Forest project, launched this fall with a 20,000-acre thinning project in the Kaibab and Coconino National Forests near Flagstaff. Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake expressed his unhappiness with what he called a lack of progress at a news conference this fall. “We just need to move faster,” he said. Pat Graham, state director of Future Forest, said that the Nature Conservancy agreed to radically increase thinning under the program in what he called a “learning laboratory” for forestry in the Southwest.