We asked for it

By Angie Many


Dear Editor:

The current wildfires illustrate that sometimes we get what we ask for.

"We can't put in firebreaks or harvest timber because habitat might be disturbed." Because we fell for that idiocy, millions of acres are toast, habitat is gone, and denizens are crispy critters. The air in at least six states is hazy with smoke; eyes are burning and lungs are suffering.

Annual average of burned lands is 4,500,000 acres. So far this year, over 7,000,000 acres have burned, and "fire season" is just starting. Nearly 29,000 firefighters are battling over 100 fires; 13 have so far died.

When people burn wood and cause smoke, environmentalists demand bans on burning. Yet when millions of acres of trees (wood) burn, destroying air quality, environmentalists are conspicuously silent.

Our droughts are made more intense by our inane refusal to manage our forests. We've let too many forests become overgrown, diseased, infested, and full of dead and dying trees. The dead trees are standing tinder waiting for a spark. Water which was once filtered through forests and into towns is now being consumed by overthick stands of trees.

Government has exacerbated the problem by increasingly taking farmers' irrigation water. Instead of green fields, fires have dry vegetation to feast on.

The loss of animal and human habitat and lives and the hundreds of millions of dollars spent fighting fires -- much of this could have been avoided with good forest management. Demand it!

Angie Many
Eckert