Liberal policies help create huge wildfires


Being good stewards of our land is something both Republicans and Democrats can agree on. Unfortunately liberal policies in California are greatly contributing to massive wildfires that seem to get worse each year.

Last week there were 12 active wildfires in California.

Democrat politicians in that state blame capitalism and climate change. Maybe they should take a look at their own policies.

Twice I traveled with our local Boy Scout troop to New Mexico for 11 days of hiking and camping at Philmont Boy Scout Ranch, in 2004 and again in 2007.

Every group of scouts that attends Philmont is required to spend one day working to help manage the forest. This includes removing brush (or excess fuel) and thinning a growth by cutting trees.

During the off season Philmont utilizes chainsaws, tractors, and woodchippers to reduce fuel loads and performs prescribed burns to improve the health and productivity of its forests.

This is just common sense. Native Americans knew this as many tribes practiced annual burning for a number of reasons.

They knew how to manage the forest.

Then along came the white man with fire suppression techniques who thought he knew better.

We live on just 2.98 acres at the edge of Owensville --— yet still in the city limits. Our property is full of trees. Just the way we like it. Every couple of years I burn off the area behind our house. It keeps the ticks and fleas down, helps the native plants grow better and keeps the brush down too.

Many Missouri farmers also do this.

It’s different in California. In 2016 then governor of California Jerry Brown vetoed a bipartisan wildfire management bill that would have mandated “prescribed burns,” claiming the work already was being done.

Thankfully we don’t have that attitude here in fly over country. According to the Missouri Department of Conservation, “The careful use of prescribed fire can actually improve your Missouri woods and wildlife habitat, as well as protect life and property.”

Last year President Trump and then-Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke pointed out the problems of California’s forest management, or lack there of.

They were condemned.

“There is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor,” Trump tweeted last year.

Unfortunately there are more liberal policies that are causing California’s wildfire problem besides the lack of controlled burns and the build up of underbrush.

Attempts in California to harvest timber from dense and fire-prone areas are attacked from radical environmentalists with frivolous litigation.

These people apparently would rather see communities burn than see a logger in the woods.

Again, this is the complete opposite in Missouri. The Missouri Department of Conservation has a 49-page booklet to help loggers harvest trees for fuel in ways that protect local natural resources.

According to Miranda Devine, in her Oct. 30 New York Post op-ed, “It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. They warn of cataclysmic climate change if we don’t suddenly remove the cheap, fossil-fueled energy on which this nation’s economic prosperity was founded.”

Devine said, “Then they work against any sensible management of California’s forests that would reduce the severity of routine regular wildfires.

Then, when the wildfires become record-breaking conflagrations, they point and say, ‘See, I told you so.’”

Ironically the carbon emissions from the California wildfires are the equivalent of the entire carbon emissions from the entire state for the entire year, said Devine.

The bipartisan Little Hoover Commission in a report from Feb. 2018 said that California’s forests suffer from neglect and mismanagement, resulting in overcrowding that leaves them susceptible to disease, insects and wildfire.

This neglect came from the Democrat politicians who have controlled California since 1999. With the only Republican in power being Arnold Schwarzenegger as governor from 2003 to 2011.

Look around this great country of ours. The devastating affects of liberal policies are there for anyone to see who is brave enough to open their eyes.


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