Wildfires: When the bully gets his way
What would you say to your young son if he told you that a bully had been taking his lunch money from him every day on the way to school? Many of you would tell your son the same thing that I would tell mine: “Give the bully something that he doesn’t want any more of, and start enjoying lunchtime once again.” “But what if the bully is bigger than I am?” he may ask. The answer should be “Walk to school with friends; there is strength in numbers.”
This is precisely what those of us who care deeply about the Umpqua National Forest need to do with the extreme environmentalists that are forcing their “let it burn” agenda upon us. I call them “gang-green,” and currently, they are controlling this forest. They include, but are not limited to, Umpqua Watersheds, Cascadia Wildlands, Oregon Wild, U.S. Forest Service Regional Program Manager James Pena and Umpqua Forest Supervisor Alice Carlton. Together they have a million reasons why what is obviously so wrong to so many of us, is actually right. They support their position with lies of omission and scientific studies that they themselves have bought and paid for. They draw political breath from the liberal left, and to many of us in Douglas County who are conservatives by nature, this forced destruction of valuable resources (as well as precious habitat) is an offense.
We need to stand together, and we need to insist upon the introduction of common sense-driven forest management practices that reduce the devastating impacts of wildfires while offering socioeconomic benefits. These practices should include a forest-wide system of shaded roadside fuel breaks, as well as an extensive commercial thinning program. The wisdom of this approach is very apparent, and yet, the bullying continues while the forest burns.