Politics solves wildfires

07/06/2014 2:07 PM

07/07/2014 1:19 PM

Re "Don't rob from programs that make forests healthier to fight wildfires" (Viewpoints, July 5): More legislation to move the money around is not the solution for the identified problem static management practices of public forests.

Environmentalist ideas took over public land management in the late '80s. Forest fires grew from less than 1 million acres per year to 7-10 million acres per year. Public land managers say global warming/climate change drought is killing the trees. Their action: Roads closed, fences put up to insure only walking/horseback access by legal citizens.

The items that worked before 1990 were:

1. Selective forest thinning based on number of trees the land could support for the type of land and rainfall.

2. Permitting ranchers to graze their livestock on public land at a very reasonable price, which is better than the cost of controlled burns that get out of control.

3. Open roads that permitted public access for recreation, food and firefighting.

-- Wallace Hobson, Lincoln

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