I am concerned about the out break of forest fires during this summer heat. Certainly more will follow.
We read in the newspapers, listen to the TV comments from those fighting the fires, along with comments from employee's of the forest service with all of them saying virtually the same thing. Heavy under growth build up, dead trees killed by the beetles, when ignited, burst into flame as though they had been saturated with gasoline.
Anyone who travels Utah's highways can look at the forest or while driving through a forest can see there is more dead trees standing than live ones. These dead trees are trees that have been killed by the pine and spruce beetle. And has been brought about by the environmental timber sales appeals,
The various forest service districts here in Utah had advertised many timber sales at the initial out break of the pine and spruce beetle infestations for the purpose of controlling the beetles. Timber sales are advertized for 90 days. The radical extreme environmental groups here in Utah, namely the Sierra Club, the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, the Grand Canyon Trust, and the Friends of Dixie filed their appeals on the day 89 of the advertized timber sale protesting it. (A few radical extreme environmentalists; claims they know more about forest management than the total number of personnel on the U.S. Forest payroll). The law requires 90 days to approve or deny the appeal.
The sawmills sat idle for 180 days without logs. They shut down and were dismantled and nearly 2,000 people in the timber industry became unemployed. This affected nearly a thousand businesses in the support infrastructure.
The Pine and Spruce Beetle had no restrictions for 180 days, thus an outbreak has turned into a plague and our forests have been decimated.
What is mind boggling is the total silence of those who were affected by these numerous timber sales appeals by the environmentalists. In addition Bill Clinton and Bruce Babbitts roadless forests that forced the livestock industries grazing permits to be cut or eliminated in our national forests also added to the build up of heavy under growth of vegetation.
Not one letter to the editor of newspapers from those whose lives were impacted by these appeals was evident. There is no better time than right now to point the angry finger of accusation at the environmentalists.
Why are those former employees of the lumber business and those livestock people who were affected by this mute? Their complacent silence can mean only one thing.
They must agree and support the actions of the environmentalists. Their silence serves them right.