Tuesday, July 29, 2003

The Human Torch: Like you allude to, what the environmentalists fail to adequately address is that while it's fine and dandy to argue about fuel loads and natural burn cycles, the fact of the matter is a significant number of these fires aren't started by dry lightning or other natural means. They're started by a) lazy and/or lost campers; b) depressed park rangers, or c) criminals. This means we actually have more fires, or at least the potential for more fires, which are outside the so-called "natural" fire pattern. With that in mind we need man-made solutions to fire-spread prevention. The questions then is: Is it enough to just allow loggers in there? Sure they will thin the fuel load, but do they do it in a way that makes sense, and that serves as a barrier to fire-spread? And, if loggers aren't allowed to help, who will? Clearly, the government won't be able to do it in a cost-effective manner. I sincerely doubt any environmental group can come up with a logical fire-prevention plan - of course they argue that fires shouldn't be prevented (which goes against every thing Smokey ever told me). With unnatural fire sources, I think we need unnatural fire prevention. If loggers can responsibly cull the supply, then they should be allowed to with close monitoring. If it gets out of hand, shut them down and back to the drawing board.

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