When in the hell are we ever going to learn to just leave Mother Nature alone?
In decades past, and even today, the forest service was established not so much to look out for the nation's state and national forests as they would have you believe, but to aid and abet tree farmers by protecting their crop from fire. So the nation went on a anti-forest-fire binge to the point that... nature could not run its course and mega-wild fires were the result. Remember, Smokey Bear says, "Only YOU can prevent forest fires."
So, following the Yellowstone fires, the naturalists were finally able to have a voice in pointing out that the ecosystem "needs" an occasional wildfire, and in fact, many species of pine only seed following a fire. So in true bureaucratic fashion, it is now Standard Operating Procedure to start the fires ourselves as a fire suppression strategy. Here goes the binge. "This area needs to be burned every two years, on time, on schedule, by the clock. We can't just let these people and equipment sit around idle waiting for a random lightening strike. After all, we've been to school and... we know what's best."
Here's the rub. What about the tens of thousands of small things that perish in these fires? Everything from box turtles to caterpillars, field mice to earth worms. What about them? Don't they count for anything? Can't these numbskulls see, and I mean "see" with their very eyes, what a balanced ecology looks like? The answer is, no, they can't. Foresters see trees. Fish & Game sees animals. Ecologists can see the big picture but they are each busy protecting their turf and none of them talk to each other.
You want to continue fire control efforts on the millions of acres of tree farms that most people think are forests, OK. But how about letting Georgia-Pacific and Rayonier and the like pay for it and not you and me? In the meantime, leave our parks and preservation properties alone and let Mother Nature take its course.
Of course, there are going to be times of drought when the landscape is dry and large wildfires are the result. That's the whole idea. Our only concern with natural fires should be protecting adjoining private property. Period.
|On one side of the fire break charred remains. On the other, Mother's exquisite beauty.|