United States -(AmmoLand.com)- First the Obama EPA came for coal mines, coal-fired power plants, miners, workers, investors, and all who depend on reliable, affordable electricity.
Then the EPA, Bureau of Land Management, Forest Service and other agencies came after oil and gas drilling and fracking, and the workers, industries and families that need petroleum. They’re also targeting farming, ranching, airlines and manufacturing.
It’s all to stop “dangerous manmade climate change,” rising seas, warmer and colder weather, wetter and drier seasons, and other “unprecedented” calamities. Now the Feds want us to believe worsening forest fires threaten communities, wildlife and wildlife habitats because we burn fossil-fuels.
Thousands of fires have already torched millions of acres, amid yet another dangerous and costly fire season. It happens every year, and has for centuries. But now, the Department of the Interior misinforms us, “climate change is making it worse. Wildfire seasons are now hotter, drier and longer than in the past.” Sure they are. Wanna buy a bridge?
I lived out West for a decade, back in the 1970’s, and saw wildfires and dozens of burned-over forests. I hiked, camped and skied during extra wet and ultra dry years. During a flight from Denver to Seattle, I watched multiple fires rage across tens of thousands of acres in four states.
I’m in Whitefish, Montana this week, where hundreds of trees are just a few inches in diameter, packed in clusters of a half dozen or more, inches from one another – perfect kindling for vicious wildfires. Over time, most will get crowded out and die, leaving just a few hardy specimens to grow into hefty 50-100 foot beauties – assuming they are not engulfed in a super-heated inferno first.
Vast stands of densely packed, water- and nutrient-starved trees – skinny matchsticks waiting for a spark – are far too common in our western states, because land mis-managers refuse to thin the trees.
The resulting fires are not the “forest-rejuvenating” blazes of environmentalist lore. They are cauldron-hot conflagrations that exterminate wildlife habitats, roast bald eagle and spotted owl fledglings alive in their nests, boil away trout and trout streams, leave surviving animals to starve, and incinerate every living organism in already thin soils … that then get washed away during future downpours and snowmelts. Areas incinerated by such fires don’t recover their arboreal biodiversity for decades.
Homes in and near the forests become ashes, chimneys and memories. Residents die in their homes or trying to flee the infernos. Firefighters perish trying to extinguish them.
The fires can certainly be far worse in drought years. But droughts are nothing new, either. We all recall the seven-year drought that brought Joseph to prominence in pharaoh’s Egypt, and the eight-year-long Dust Bowl during the 1930s. Historians describe a 50-year “water famine” that drove Anasazis out of the American Southwest, the 200-year drought that ended Mayan civilization, and other parched periods in China, Africa, Mesopotamia and other regions.
In short, whatever “hotter, drier, longer” forest fires we are witnessing today have nothing to do with fossil fuels, plant-fertilizing carbon dioxide or “dangerous manmade climate change.” They have a lot to do with incompetent forest mismanagement policies and practices.
Far too many environmentalists, bureaucrats, politicians and judges would rather let forests burn, than let anyone selectively cut timber, thin out overgrown trees – or even let loggers harvest usable timber left from beetle kills, devastating fires or volcanic explosions like Mount St. Helens. (Do you suppose they’d alter their policies if loggers promised to use chain saws powered by little wind turbines or solar panels?)
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