Posted by Curt on 16 September, 2020 at 11:13 am. 9 comments already!


Here we go again. The annual, predictable, out of control wildfires are once again burning the west coast. Also predictable are the liberals and the MSM blaming man-made global warming instead of their policies.

Their policies and the forest mismanagement from the Democrat leadership created the conditions for these yearly raging fires. It’s plain ole’ common sense.

Common Sense the liberals have very little it seems.

Almost twenty years ago Dr. Thomas Bonnicksen warned about the dangers coming our way. No one listened. Especially the Democrat governments of the west.

Our national forests are growing older and thicker, some reaching astronomical densities of 2,000 trees per acre where 40-50 trees per acre would be natural. A forest can stagnate for many decades or even centuries under such crowded conditions. Consequently, plant and animal species that require open conditions are disappearing, streams are drying as thickets of trees use up water, insects and disease are reaching epidemic proportions, and unnaturally hot wildfires have destroyed vast areas of forest.

Since 1990, we have lost 50 million acres of forest to wildfire and suffered the destruction of over 4,800 homes. The fires of 2000 burned 8.4 million acres and destroyed 861 structures. The 2002 fire season resulted in a loss of 6.9 million acres and 2,381 structures destroyed, including 835 homes. These staggering losses from wildfire also resulted in taxpayers paying $2.9 billion in firefighting costs. This does not include vast sums spent to rehabilitate damaged forests and replace homes.

The 2003 fire season is shaping up to be potentially as bad. Fire danger is very high to extreme in much of the Interior West, Northwest, and portions of California and the Northern Rockies due to overgrown forests, an extended drought, and insect damaged trees.

Not only are fires destroying America’s forests, bark beetles and other insects are killing trees on a scale never before seen. Forests in Arizona, the Northern Rockies, and California have been especially hard hit by beetles.

I have been working in California’s forests since the late 1960s. Never have I seen anything more dangerous than the overgrown, beetle-ravaged forests of the San Bernardino and San Jacinto Mountains. I am concerned for the safety of people living in communities surrounded by these forests.

About 90 percent of the pines will be dead when the beetles end their rampage. Then, forest communities like Lake Arrowhead and Idyllwild will look like any treeless suburb of Los Angeles. Whole neighborhoods are already barren of trees where houses once hid in a thick forest.

…If we looked back two hundred years, 91 percent of our forests were more open because Indian and lightning fires burned regularly. These were mostly gentle fires that stayed on the ground as they wandered around under the trees. You could walk over the flames without burning your legs even though they occasionally flared up and killed small groups of trees. Such hot spots kept forests diverse by creating openings where young trees and shrubs could grow.

Fires burned often enough in historic forests to clear dead wood and small trees from under the big trees, and they thinned some of the weak and diseased big trees as well. These were sunny forests that explorers described as open enough to gallop a horse through without hitting a tree. Open and patchy forests like this also were immune from monster fires like those that recently scorched Oregon, Arizona, Colorado, and California.

Our forests look different today. They are crowded with trees of all sizes and filled with logs and dead trees. You can barely walk through them, let alone ride a horse.

Now monster fires and hordes of insects are devouring trees with unprecedented ferocity because our forests are so dense. The role of drought in causing the problem is overstated. Drought contributes to the crisis, but it is not the underlying cause. There are simply too many trees.

In the case of Southern California, the drought added more stress to an already unhealthy and dangerous forest, so bark beetles took control. They made the wildfire danger even more critical by killing trees, turning them into instant fuel. The smallest spark could cause a human catastrophe.

Trees are so crowded they have to divide what little moisture is available in the soil. During normal rainfall years, the trees have barely enough moisture to produce the sap needed to keep out the beetles. They cannot resist attack during dry years. A healthy forest can survive a beetle attack during a drought with only moderate mortality. A thick and stressed forest cannot. Therefore, the drought triggered the insect epidemic, but it didn’t cause it.

We know how we got into this fix: forest management stalled because environmental activists, government officials, and politicians engaged in endless debates on how to look after our forests. Central to the debate is that environmentalists want thick forests. They lobbied for years to convert forests to old growth, which they define as dense, multi-layered, and filled with dead trees and logs. Meanwhile, trees grew and forests became thicker because they care nothing about politics. Now insects riddle our trees with holes and wildfires turn them into charcoal.

We all know what the problem is and Dr. Bonnicksen explained it well. But we get politicians like Biden, Obama, and the governors of the west coast states pointing fingers at man-made global warming.

Complete baloney. In years past private enterprise ensured that the forests were thinned through logging and livestock grazing but then the eco-terrorists entered the picture and it all changed.

Bob Zybach feels like a broken record. Decades ago he warned government officials allowing Oregon’s forests to grow unchecked by proper management would result in catastrophic wildfires.

While some want to blame global warming for the uptick in catastrophic wildfires, Zybach said a change in forest management policies is the main reason Americans are seeing a return to more intense fires, particularly in the Pacific Northwest and California where millions of acres of protected forests stand.

“We knew exactly what would happen if we just walked away,” Zybach, an experienced forester with a PhD in environmental science, told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

Zybach spent two decades as a reforestation contractor before heading to graduate school in the 1990s. Then the Clinton administration in 1994 introduced its plan to protect old growth trees and spotted owls by strictly limiting logging.

Less logging also meant government foresters weren’t doing as much active management of forests — thinnings, prescribed burns and other activities to reduce wildfire risk.

Zybach told Evergreen magazine that year the Clinton administration’s plan for “naturally functioning ecosystems” free of human interference ignored history and would fuel “wildfires reminiscent of the Tillamook burn, the 1910 fires and the Yellowstone fire.”

…“Mostly fuels were removed through logging, active management — which they stopped — and grazing,” Zybach said in an interview. “You take away logging, grazing and maintenance, and you get firebombs.”

Todd Myers, the environmental director at the Washington Policy Center in Washington State:

While blaming climate change is a useful political ploy, it distracts from a policy approach that can actually reduce catastrophic fire. Even if the United States meets the most aggressive climate targets, the total impact on global temperatures would be a fraction of a degree by 2100. Given that temperatures can vary from summer to summer by several degrees, the most aggressive climate policy will do nothing to stop the fires.

The blame for these fires lies directly at the feet of the eco-terrorists. Private lands do not suffer these fires because they properly manage the forests. Public lands is a whole nother story as we see today.

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