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Huge Arizona Fires Due To Environmentalists

From a suddenly changing their tune Associated Press:

Huge Arizona wildfire rekindles forest debate

By Susan Montoya Bryan And Bob Christie, Associated Press
June 10, 2011

SPRINGERVILLE, Ariz. – A major wildfire in Arizona’s eastern mountains burned out of control early Friday after charring more than 603 square miles of timber, destroying dozens of structures and keeping thousands of evacuees away from their homes…

The 386,000-acre blaze with just 5 percent containment [sic]. After reportedly being sparked by a campfire, it has become the second-largest wildfire in state history and is still growing.

The fire has rekindling the blame game surrounding ponderosa pine forests that have become dangerously overgrown after a century of fire suppression.

Some critics put the responsibility on environmentalists for lawsuits that have cut back on logging. Others blame overzealous firefighters for altering the natural cycle of lightning-sparked fires that once cleared the forest floor.

Either way, forests across the West that once had 50 trees per acre now have hundreds, sometimes thousands, and much of the landscape is choked with tinder-dry brush.

The density of the growth has fueled immense conflagrations in recent years, like now burning in the Apache-Sitgreaves National ForestToday, it’s not uncommon for fires to exceed 150 square miles

Many in Arizona blame the legal battles that have erupted over old-growth logging that threatened endangered species such as the Mexican spotted owl. Since those disputes prevented regular logging that would have thinned the number of trees, the forests became overgrown, they say.

Gasp! You mean logging might actually be good for the forests – and even good for the spotted owls who lives there?

Environmentalists insist that theory is just a scare tactic.

"That’s just wrong, flat-out wrong," said Bryan Bird [sic] of Wildearth Guardians [sic], which has been involved in some of the lawsuits. "These people are misinformed or they’re intentionally trying to scare people in a time that they’re already terrified. It’s pure politics."

Obviously, the fires are just scare tactics and pure politics, too.

Historically, those forests were relatively thin, with grass and wildflowers growing beneath the canopy. Every two to 10 years, a fire would move through and burn out the undergrowth and small trees…

Over the following decades, the typical treetop fire went from a few acres to a few thousand to more than 10,000 by the 1990s.

Then early in the 2000s, huge conflagrations emerged that turned hundreds of thousands of acres to ash. "Now, we’re firmly in the multiple 100,000-acre landscape fire,’ [professor Wally Covington of Northern Arizona University] said.

Sen. Jon Kyl, an Arizona Republican, says environmental lawsuits have put the nation’s forests at risk. And in places where the Apache-Sitgreaves forest had been thinned, he said, crews were better able to control the fire. "So it does work," said Kyl, who has a cabin in Greer. "And we haven’t been able to do as much of it as we would like."

The Forest Service has acknowledged the problem, setting up nine restoration projects across the West designed to let private industry thin small trees. In Arizona, the Four Forests Initiative is expected to help clear about 50 square miles a year and use the discarded brush for construction material. But the plan isn’t off the ground yet, angering some, including Allen

So there doesn’t seem to be much of a debate, after all. "Thinning" (also known a ‘logging’) is good for forests and for its denizens.

But, as usual, all of these lessons will be quickly forgotten once the fires are out and everyone is back in their homes — and the ‘environmentalists’ and their friends in the news media get back to work.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, June 10th, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

12 Responses to “Huge Arizona Fires Due To Environmentalists”

  1. Right of the People says:

    These stupid, tree-huggers need to be slapped, no belay that, jailed for all the damage they’ve caused!

    It’s amazing how the earth can heal itself, it’s only when fidiots like Bryan Bird get involved do things get screwed up. I think maybe it’s time for some counter-suits against these “environmental groups” (tree hugging Nazis) for all the damage they’ve caused. Let’s put their arses on the defensive for once and let them see what it’s like to be on the receiving end of a frivolous lawsuit. I’m betting they won’t like it.

  2. TerryAnne says:

    All environmentalists should be forced out of their homes (or mud huts) to live in the wilds they created. Once they are attacked and eaten by the crazed animals they have protected (crazed because of overpopulation and, thus, fighting for food and territory) or caught in Mother Nature’s cleansing process…they might just come to their senses.

  3. P. Aaron says:

    We need to thin these environmentalists out of our lives.

  4. tranquil.night says:

    Backwards world.

  5. BannedbytheTaliban says:

    “environmentalists” vs. “overzealous firefighters”

    Gee, I wonder what side the AP is on? Also, wasn’t the “campfire” supposedly set by illegals trying to flee immigration officials?

  6. GetBackJack says:

    Enviro-wackos + 100 years + 20 years drought + high desert, low humidity + 100 ft Lodgepole pines + idiots with matches + windstorms = Joe Biden’s shovel ready jobs.

    If you build a stick frame house in the woods, don’t come crying to me to be rescued when your fire-fuel house goes up like a bonfire. And when the forest floor all around you in covered with dried out pine needles a couple feet deep, well … good luck you bozos.

    I live waaaaay out, but we’re not so stupid that we believe we can live in a house built for and suitable to suburban life, 25 miles from any kind of emergency help. I’m sorry if this offends anyone but GD you have to be some kind of loon and oblivious to nature and physics to conceive of taking your suburban lifestyle into the pretty pretty Smokey Bear territory.

    In fact, wanna know why he’s named Smokey? Because the bear cub who was rescued following a giant New Mexico wildlands fire was SMOKING when they found him. If wild animals can’t escape this stuff, what chance does a $400,000 stick built home?


    (this stuff makes me bang my head on the wall)

    • preparing4theworst says:

      This may be slightly non sequiter….I had the priviledge of meeting Mr. G.W. Chapman who was on the fire crew responsible for the rescue of Smokey. He told me the tale as it happened. Truely a New Mexico Icon, and a western gentleman of the old school. Last I heard he was still living, but in poor health.

    • GetBackJack says:

      That’s the man, alright.

  7. The Redneck says:

    The disturbing part is that after the Left cause this problem, Algore is telling us that global warming is responsible for these large fires–and the answer, of course, is more regulation and control from the left!

    Look at nearly every issue the left champions, and you’ll see the same pattern. Their policies cause a problem, and then they use the problem as an excuse to champion more of their policies.

    Have these people lever heard of being either part of the problem or part of the solution?

  8. canary says:

    The Constitution is clear that states not be run by the federal govt.

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