Issues of concern to people who live in the west: property rights, water rights, endangered species, livestock grazing, energy production, wilderness and western agriculture. Plus a few items on western history, western literature and the sport of rodeo... Frank DuBois served as the NM Secretary of Agriculture from 1988 to 2003. DuBois is a former legislative assistant to a U.S. Senator, a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Interior, and is the founder of the DuBois Rodeo Scholarship.
Friday, August 17, 2012
EDITORIAL: Wise to change fire policy
The 2012 wildfire season already has been one of the worst in U.S. history. As of Wednesday, the National Interagency Fire Center reported 63 large wildfires were burning, totaling more than 1.2 million acres. The 6.5 million acres burned so far in 2012 are the most acres burned by wildfires in the last decade. The increase in wildfires this year, strengthened by drought conditions in the western United States, has prompted the U.S. Forest Service to temporarily abandon its policy of allowing national forest supervisors to let small fires in isolated areas that are started by natural causes, usually by lightning, to burn. The USFS will now send fire crews to fight all fires before they can grow in size and require more resources to contain. The Forest Service said its change in fire policy was in response to the drought and the number of fires that are bigger and more severe than in average years. The USFS said it would review its change in fire policy if drought conditions improve...There is no sign that the drought is improving in the western United States, and the potential for damaging wildfires is only going to get worse. Given the widespread drought and high number of large fires burning in the western United States, a change in national fire policy to fight small fires before they get too big and outstrip available resources is a wise decision...more