A recipe for destruction, California version

I wrote an editorial in September 2006 regarding the wildfires that were occurring in the western United States, of which Washington State was leading the pack with most acres burned at that time in 2006. BRC later published my editorial in their October 2006 BlueRibbon Magazine. Thank you BRC! And although most of the information in that editorial referred to Washington State, the basic information is very real and equally applies to any western state, and particularly to California this year.

As of today, California currently has 12 active fires that have already burned through 424,698 acres. Holy cow! And the fire season has just begun in most western states (http://www.nifc.gov/fire_info/nfn.htm).

The tragic death of┬ánine firefighters that died in a helicopters crash while taking off from within the Trinity Alps Wilderness in northern California on August 5, 2008, speaks volumes as to why our forests need to be properly managed with ground access to them maintained (http://www.sacbee.com/288/story/1141398.html). Why the Forest Service is landing helicopters within designated wilderness areas to ferry firefighters to fight fires is beyond me. Aren’t these wilderness areas suppose to be areas “where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man“?

And now California Senator Boxer and Representative McKeon think it would be just dandy to designate another 473,000 or so acres as wilderness in California -┬ánearly the same acreage that has burned so far this year in California alone – through their companion bills S3069 and HR6156. If they succeed, no doubt one day they will have blood on their hands from future firefighters that get dumped into the middle of “their” new wilderness area to fight future fires due to these forests being unmanaged and inaccessible. What a disgrace!

Please write and tell your elected representatives that there is enough unmanaged public land in the United States, and that designating wilderness only leads to more unmanaged lands that will eventually lead to more┬áforest fires. These fires in turn will lead to unhealthy and outright dangerous air pollution, oh, and don’t forget, doesn’t this pollution also contribute┬áto the same “global warming” that many of them so often preach that our internal combustion engines cause?

Lookup your U.S. House Representative

Lookup your U.S. Senator

Dave Hurwitz
Snowmobile Alliance of Western States

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