scouts-l Mail Archive for August of 2000: Re: Leave NO Trace - versus burning excess wood
Ed Thompson (thompson@VAX2.WINONA.MSUS.EDU
Wed Aug 30 2000 - 14:56:46 CDT
At 10:20 AM 8/30/00 -0500, Scouter Don wrote:
> Due to all the fires - greatly fueled by the debris on the
> forrest floors - NPS and Forrest service was re-thinking
> the policy - and in fact was considering the fact that
> a NO Burn policy has contributed to the fires.
> Any one else catch that ? Or have any updates?
What we are seeing here, finally, is admission of what has been known for
decades (if not centuries) but considered too politically unpopular to
promote. I spent most of my youth surrounded by forests, including one
summer in the late 1960s working for the Forest Service (in a scut job, but
better than other things that were available). It was obvious that the
forests most at risk of burning were those that had accumulated years of
unburned debris on the floor. These were the ones where the fires spread
rapidly and could not be easily controlled, and they were the ones in which
we had to be the most careful.
It is hard for many people to accept that fire is not only a NORMAL part
of forest ecology, it is a NECESSARY part in the long run. Instead, we
build our houses and resorts right next to the forests and then complain
when they burn, spend millions on preventing or treating diseases in old
forests... (all right, I'm starting to rant here, but you get the point).
If we want these forests to be healthy for our grandchildren and beyond, we
have to accept occasional fires as part of the bargain.
Ed's witty saying for this week:
If it's called "tourist season", why can't we shoot them?