We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I kept ski and sail boats when the kids were young. Thought I loved boating. Turned out I loved watching the kids and their friends boating. When the last kids left home, I immediately lost interest in boating and sold the boats. That was 40 years ago.
Here in Montana we like to go boating on our fresh water lakes. Some of which we have not been able to see for days due to wildfire smoke. First the smoke blew over from WA state, then our own Glacier Park caught fire and now we have many small fires. You can go to http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/state/27/
to see how many thousands of acres of good timber we have allowed to disappear for no reason (will explain later). Move up to the top of the page and change the state -- type in Washington State and see how much has been lost there.
Yesterday and for a week before that no one could see across the street. It looks like the wind will make it a little easier to see (breathe) today, but the destruction of good timber is a terrible loss to the industry. But--not to worry --our local economy was re-designed by Clinton (the cigar whiz) 25 years ago. The loss to so many good families whose livelihoods use to depend on our timber industry can never be calculated. The argument of course then-- and still is today by pea brained scholars from the democratic party-- is this:
1. Clear cutting is bad. Yes, we all agree on that--even the men who used to support their families by cutting timber would have told you that!.
2. We should use our forests for recreation. Yes, we all agree with that and understand that clear cutting is not good for recreation either.
3. Fire is good for re-growth and the overall health of the forest. Yup, we all agree with that--even the old indians used to burn out the underbrush and areas with too many young trees. HOWEVER, may I remind you that they hand burned small areas--oh never mind that detail is uncomfortable.
4. THEREFORE We should allow all forests to burn naturally at their own rate and speed. Well now, there that takes care of that problem.
I would guess you good Yankee folks could understand that "thinning" is different than "clear cutting". You probably also understand that the "heat" necessary to clean out the forest floor and help to re-new a forest has to reach a particular temperature for that process to happen--HOWEVER I'll bet you good Yankee folks also can grock this : the intense heat of many old timber trees burning at the same time 40 or 50 or 100 feet up from the surface of the floor is not soo much more as the bare minimum that is necessary down below of the forest floor. Much of that heat from the tree burning midway up is lost to the atmosphere. THE HEAT NECESSARY TO CLEAN AND RE-NEW can come from burning off already thinned areas!!! But, those damn liberal male cows who now run our universities won't tolerate a new idea on campus that runs against . . . Also, please remember that not so many years ago the USFS and our Parks would allow volunteers (local ranchers, unemployed farm kids, etc. to volunteer--if not on the front lines at least further out to cut fire breaks, etc. They would even allow farm wives to come to camp with a 20 gallon bucket of beans, or potato salad, or 100 burgers, etc. Now no one is allowed to "volunteer" thanks to the firefighters union. Headquartered in beautiful downtown Chicago--where they really understand the west (don't believe that for an instant)!