Put it out
120,000 acres; 0 percent contained. Welcome to the 21st century of fire management. Fire starts; it will burn out. Therefore we in the Rogue Valley are choking on smoke and ash and homes are burning.
I propose we get back to the old-fashioned way of firefighting and put it out, wherever it is, do it early. Clearly the modern theory is not working. It’s just destroying thousands of acres of our woods. Burning our resources is unacceptable.
What good is it to have protected areas if we’re not protecting them? Locate the fire, go in with whatever it takes to put it out and go on to the next one. Cut-down trees will rot; Cat tracks and fire trails will disappear. Used properly, fire retardant is one way to slow the fire. Water drops can be used with no detriment to the forest.
The Ashland Watershed was managed to keep the underbrush down and the fire threat is much less than the areas now burning due to no management. Use the system that works to keep the forests from burning. It will be better for all of us.
The cost of corruption
Governments exist to benefit the common good and to do things that individuals cannot do by themselves. Governments become corrupted when they are used to further individual or private interests. One example of how that corruption works is when elected officials vote to help their big “donors” instead of their constituents.
Case in point: Rep. Greg Walden was given large sums of money by the health insurance industry and consequently authored and voted for a bill that benefited that industry — at our expense. (Less coverage for more money). And because we know Walden has also accepted large “donations” from the communications industry, it is not surprising to learn that once again he favors that industry at the expense of his constituents — by killing net neutrality.
Walden exemplifies how the corruption works; how bribery undermines our government and the common good. We cannot afford his kind of corruption any longer as it is detrimental to our entire nation: our health, our education, our infrastructure, our public lands, our transition to clean energy, our water and air, our ability to obtain factual information on the Internet and a habitable planet for our grandchildren. The cost of corruption is high.
DeBoer's great idea
Former Ashland mayor and current State Sen. Alan DeBoer is proposing a statewide forest reclamation initiative, modeled after the highly successful Ashland Forest Resiliancy Project, that would, if we could only find the courage and the vision to do it, make these terrible fires a thing of the past.
This will be expensive, of course, giving thousands of good-paying jobs to people, but it will also be a great investment in the future.
I sure hope Senator DeBoer's proposal will soon become reality. I believe this is something we can all agree upon, liberals and conservatives alike.