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Who’s to Blame for the Southwest’s Wildfires?

Feds and radicals add unnatural risk to a natural disaster.

by
Caren Cowan

Bio

June 23, 2011 - 12:00 am
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Even the availability of electric generation across many western states is at risk as the Wallow and Horseshoe fires indiscriminately race across landscapes that house power lines feeding homes and businesses from Texas to California. Despite the WEG’s hearing and press releases about potential pollution for electricity generation, the air quality that New Mexico and Arizona are suffering today can be laid directly at the feet of the WEG.

So that there is no misunderstanding, natural fire is not always bad. But when the fuel load is not controlled — and it has not been for decades — it becomes violent and dangerous to animal and man alike. In the mid 1990s, one Arizona forestry specialist noted that even at that point, the fuel load was comparable to setting a match to thirty oil tankers per acre. Over the past fifteen years, that number has probably increased tenfold. And it is one thing when fires are “natural” — but in this case, the fires are believed to be intentionally set by drug backpackers trying to evade US Border Patrol.

Whether the issue is air quality, forest management, or productive natural resource use, it is time for the citizens of this nation to stand up and take control of our forests back from radical environmental groups. It is time to stop paying these groups to destroy our treasured forests and their wildlife — not to mention the people who live, work, and play there.

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Caren Cowan is the publisher of the New Mexico Stockman magazine.
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