There are also some interesting comments on my post Pearce expresses outrage, blame at Forest Service for Little Bear Fire.
The real problem here is decades of poor management by the Forest Service, as Pearce recently wrote:
It does not have to be this way. The biggest hindrance is the U.S. Forest Service bureaucracy in Washington, which caters to extreme interest groups that stop responsible forest management. Because the Forest Service refuses to permit logging in our forests, they are overcrowded with trees that go up in flames during droughts, and invite massive conflagrations like we see in the Gila. It would be far easier to thin the forest conscientiously in advance than resort to emergency fire suppression, which risks lives and property. Special interest groups claim that we must lock up our forests, and tie the hands of local Forest Service administrators by threatening lawsuits every time a responsible forest management policy is proposed. This must stop. Not only do these policies lead to massive destruction of our forests and private dwellings within the forests. The environmental degradation these groups claim to want to avoid occurs on a massive scale through air pollution and the total destruction of habitat, endangered species, and everything else in the fire’s path.
Examples of this abound. Just four days ago there was this:
Federal judge halts eastern Idaho logging project A federal judge has halted a 7,000-acre eastern Idaho logging project in potential lynx habitat near Yellowstone National Park after finding the U.S. Forest Service failed to follow federal laws intended to safeguard the environment. "We're thrilled," said Mike Garrity, executive director of the Alliance for the Wild Rockies. "This is going to protect a lot of habitat that is very important to the recovery of lynx."...
In this case the enviros used two of their favorite tools, NEPA & ESA. Other favorites are the CWA and Native American claims.
Nothing will change until the laws are changed. You will see administrative tweaks every 4-8 years, but no significant change.
Keep that in mind as you head to the polls this fall. Only Congress can change the law and they must have a President who will sign it.