From a PMT member;
I believe the best teacher life will ever offer is experience. If you are willing to learn from it, the experience of others can save you a lot of grief.
A devastating wildfire has burned at least 18,500 acres of timber and brush in Colorado, much of it in the Pike National Forest. While 36,000 people were being evacuated from their homes, 346 of those homes burned to the ground. An elderly couple lost not only their home and belongings, but their lives.
Reports are now indicating the fire started near a popular hiking trail.
For the past 15 years, residents living in El Paso and Teller counties, where the fire burned, have fought environmentalists in order to do controlled clearing and forestry maintenance in hopes of avoiding a fire such as this. Their repeated requests to maintain the forest- were repeatedly denied by the EPA and blocked by litigation initiated by the environmentalists.
When environmentalists prevent proper forest management from happening, they put the entire forest, the animals that live within it, as well as people and homes in the area at high risk of loss due to wildfires.
Dead trees and undergrowth left untended in the forest are like an accident waiting to happen. In their zeal to “protect” the forest, the environmentalists are enabling disasters like the one that occurred in Waldo Canyon. Clearing out the dead trees and undergrowth, will not only lessen the danger of fire, but will promote healthy tree growth and healthy forests.
Radical efforts by environmentalists to stop logging and timber sales in or around national forests has caused the lack of proper and competent maintenance to be allowed in these areas. This, in turn, has led to damage and infestation by bark beetles and drought, leaving the forest vulnerable to wildfire.
Trees that are not thinned eventually become fuel for fires that can occur from natural causes such as lightening or as a result of human negligence. The lack of proper maintenance also causes trees to lose their health and become susceptible to insect attack. Last year, the U.S. Forest Service reported the lack of ability to properly maintain the forests was putting forests in danger of wildfire or insect infestation. Sadly, for Colorado, this proved to be true.
Those who have homes to return to in Waldo Canyon must now live with the possibility of flash floods and mud slides should heavy rains occur in areas where fire has consumed all the natural vegetation. Another evacuation with more loss looms over them even as they try to rebuild and recover. Looting has been reported in the area, so what the fire has not taken, may still be lost to thieves.
Some have already lost all they own and must start over, having lost many treasured possessions which can never be replaced.
For towns located near a national forest or park, the nearest local fire departments are involved only as an assist to the Forest Service when a fire starts on federal lands. In most areas, this means that firefighters for the Forest Service could be hours away.
Colorado experience for the residents of northern Maine, do we really want to see our North Woods be turned into a national park or forest ? The people of northern Maine have been caring for the North Woods for generations without the environmentalists dictating to us how to best do that. If we had not been doing this without proper maintenance, would there even be a North Woods here for them to try to take over and control? I don’t believe so.
So why should we allow environmentalists or RESTORE to take control now?
Roxanne Quimby says she wants to “gift” her land to the federal government for a national park. She has also repeatedly and publicly stated that she wants this “gift” to be the “seed” for RESTORE.
Either way, it would place our beloved North Woods and possibly much more in federal control.
Are you willing to sit back and allow this to happen, or will you heed the experience of others who have?