8/17/2015 1:29:00 PM/Categories: Popular Posts, General News, Today's Top 5, National News, Opinions, Ag Issues
Ranchers: Grazing could have Impacted size of Soda Fire
Soda Fire Devastating Idaho Ranchers
Wildfire Resources Stretched Thin
National Wildfire Preparedness Moves to Highest Level
Source: Public Lands Council and National Cattlemen's Beef Association
8/17/2015 9:49 PM
I truly wonder where all the special interest groups are now in the time of need in saving our burning forests? No PETA, no anti logging groups, no save the fish groups no green peace and the hundreds of untold others who live no where near the forests but think they know what is best for us who do. They certainly sound off their opinions and unfounded beliefs when they don't have to put their lives home, livestock and personal property on the line. Apparently these "natural" fires don't pollute air, the silt and dead animals don't affect the water quality and have no effect on the soil conditions, water evaporation rates, death of vegetation and wildlife. Where are all these people who vote for their special interests who have nothing to loose ??? I wonder if their neighbors allowed fires to burn their property what song they would be singing then?
8/18/2015 9:41 AM
What can we do as private citizens to stop this brainless BLM that have control over these lands? The FLMP of 2009 put all control of our range lands in their hands. Many enviros that are members of these marvel and western water sheds groups that believe cattle shouldn't graze the fire fuels away are in management positions. How can we expose them or defund their dysfunctional actions? Here to help!
Been saying this for 5 years. Now it's happened and we have to get these lands out of these radical no nonsense people's hands.
8/18/2015 11:11 AM
I have related to politicians the need to stop being afraid of fake environmentalists who want everything stopped just for them to puff their chest in victory as they are doing now. The let it burn ideal of saving the trees is not working and that is why they hid during large forest fires or other disasters. Political correctness is taking over and common sense is dwindling in our country. Livestock owners, land owners, and people who live outside of cities have better insight of what this land needs instead of sight seeing know it all's.
8/18/2015 12:10 PM
Experts still cannot agree on the BEST Forest Management -- and that includes "salvage logging" https://www.edf.org/blog/2014/02/18/after-rim-fire-surprising-role-salvage-logging
8/18/2015 12:21 PM
I spent 40 years working on wildfires, resource management. There is plenty of blame to go around in the 150 years since we showed up out west. Your comments are just plain wrong headed. Fire history studies in the Intermountain West show that the natural fire regime was disrupted starting in 1868. It was not logging or fire suppression that disrupted the fire regime...
See if you can guess what happened around that time that would cause fires to quite spreading in grasses, in forests.
8/18/2015 12:37 PM
Many years ago my father was forced to leave Montana because of the war on logging, he told me 25 years ago that our forests were going to be destroyed because the government could not care for the forest like the men that truly loved the forest and knew exactly how to care for it. He then explained the long process of logging and how they went about this process. They took great care in maintaining their forest and keeping the blow down clean up to prevent fires and also help the wild life. We need to listen to the people that know how to prevent these fires, and not the idiots that are trying to prove something
8/18/2015 1:10 PM
I see this reluctance in Florida, a normally wet state and in the winter when fields are dry enough to burn, we have to beg for permits.
8/18/2015 1:12 PM
I'm not a AG or Livestock person, but I have been involved with Land Use Issues for over 10 years working with various Outdoor User Groups (OHV related).
We've been fighting tooth and nail (and losing) to try & keep 100s, ney 1000s of miles of roads & trails from being closed every year because of litigation from these "Environmental" groups (I call them Anti-Access groups).
The first thing you have to realize is that rarely can they be reasoned with, nor do they act rationally/with common sense. Not only that, but now many BLM & the USFS members (& management) grew up supporting groups like the Sierra Club & others. So management is very sympathetic to their cause/try to take the least confrontational route possible when managing (translation: closures & agreeing to these groups demands).
Lastly, PETA might be a big opponent to the Cattlemen, but groups like "Center for Biological Diversity" or Earth Justice. Not to mention all the private law firms that are/were created by associates of these groups which generate lots of $$$ via their suits.
8/18/2015 4:21 PM
This would be HORRIBLE--removing the native brush and disturbing the soil so that it would grow more inflammable weeds (yes, sage is flammable, but not nearly as much as cheatgrass and other weeds--cheat and other weeds are why these fires are so huge and travel so fast. And what has caused this weed takeover? Overgrazing by livestock.) Sorry--I studied this, hands-on, for 40 years. YES, we need more fire suppression capability. Yes, there has been mismanagement: chiefly, putting too many cattle and sheep on certain ranges. NO, burning and discing will make it worse, not better. Study plant succession on western ranges before proposing something so catastrophic.
8/18/2015 7:05 PM
My husband is in the logging industry and has seen this time and time again... just like last week, they called a fire in, in the early morning hours. This fire was started by lightening. It was the size of three or four campfires put together when they called it in. By the time someone showed up in the late afternoon to fight it, it had totally gotten out of control, now we have a ragging forest fire in Idaho that is threatening homes, livestock, a healthy forest and the wild animals in that forest. The way that BLM & the Forest Service fights fires now is a "joke" and it's costing we tax paying citizens millions and millions of dollars. It's time we put a stop to all of the red tape and "let it burn" policy.
8/18/2015 8:03 PM
Eastern Washington citizens are going out in the dark at night with little help from many actual fire fighters, they are being told there aren't any available. Our Governor sent the National Guard to help on his side of the Cascade Mountains, he is not aware apparently there are citizens east of the mountains with fires burning their homes & crops.. How could those in charge of delegating fire fighting funds, not realize; we had no snow pack last winter, little rain in the spring, record breaking horrendous temperatures this summer? We've worried for months of the impending fires. We lived in a time, loggers fought fires & if there were a shortage of those any able looking man on the street or even in a Bar was simply told to load up they were going to fight fire. I'm sick of this country sending Billions to other countries that hate us, all the while things are going to hell in a hand basket here, we need some real Americans that have lived someplace besides in an apartment surrounded by cement, how have actually seen real grass & trees to realize there is a good portion of this country that provides them with the food they eat. Some of my family's ranches are surrounded by fire, only old people & local ranchers were available to try and get a handle on the fires for over 24 hours. These family members are living on ranches that have been in existence way over 100 yrs. Come on Americans our forefather fought & died for this country we all need to stand up & speak out, for sure voting in someone that will show some guts.
8/18/2015 9:27 PM
There are a lot of good comments here! I hope your governors and elected officials are reading and 'hearing' your comments. Looking at this as an outsider with family waiting to find out if their house will survive the fire now threatening their home and that has already burned 26+ houses around them; I just want to say, why was a team not sent the minute my family reported this said fire on the roadside as they passed by it five days ago. Five days ago it was small and entirely containable. Why did it have to be something large before firefighters were sent to put it out? What in the bureaucracy is going on out there? For heaven's sake!
8/18/2015 9:48 PM
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8/19/2015 8:11 AM
Fires in Idaho wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for the invasive species known as cheat grass, which has foiled every attempt at extermination by the state. This grass burns easily and grows back fast, and is also killing off the sage brush despite the efforts of countless groups trying to save it. Fires are also getting worse due to the fact that the North West is seeing less rain every year. You cannot blame everything on the government people. The grass was brought over as ballast on cargo ships from Asia, and the lack of rain is due to a slight climatic shift in the region. If you want to complain about it fine. but at least do some research and do something constructive about it like donating to some sage funds or planting some trees in the burnt out forests.
8/19/2015 9:17 AM
On the surface, the proposed laws sound like good ideas (though I haven't read their details), but they hardly indicate that the FS and BLM are grossly negligent. They have been forced to obey the laws passed by this same congress that require them to have those NEPA evaluations, and have also had to foot the bill every time a proposal for management of a particular area is litigated. Quote from article: "Further, this legislation would discourage frivolous litigation by requiring litigants to post a bond equal to the estimated costs of court proceedings and would require an arbitration process to precede the lawsuit." Note that the "frivolous litigation" that stalls or cancels management action is not instigated by the agencies this article criticizes. This is part of the problem, but it is also exacerbated by Global Climate Change, which no one has the stomach to address. The so-called "best caretakers" that are supposedly being pushed off the land have also, in the past, been guilty of extreme over-grazing, over harvesting, and species endangerment. Much of that red-tape was created to reduce THEIR negative management practices. I find this article a gross over-simplification of a very complex problem.
8/19/2015 1:54 PM
It makes sense to me to let each State manage their own resources. There are enough people in Oregon that need job's, why not tap into that resource to manage and patrol our forests?
8/19/2015 4:10 PM
It would be nice to see an organization actually try working with these agencies for a change rather than just attacking them. The Forest Service is often bogged down by lawsuits, and its often the courts preventing them from taking the desired action to properly manage the land. In addition, congress has been cutting their budget for over a decade. There is a lot of truth in this article, but attacking the Forest Service is not one of them as far as the answer to the problem.
8/19/2015 5:52 PM
Katie Carris. I don't know who you are talking to in Florida, but Florida continually burns more acreage in prescribed burning each year then anywhere else in the country. There is a reason Florida hasn't had a bad fire season in almost a decade. It is because of Floridas Prescribed Burning and Wildfire Mitigation programs. This past year Florida burned so much that it broke the record for most Prescribed Acreage burned. This was through the Florida Forest Service and private land owners. Private land owners are more then welcome to burn agriculturally as long as they have met set backs and have adaquate resources to control the fire and keep it on their land. Florida only denies burn authorizations in times of drought, or high fire danger. I would suggest getting in touch with your local Florida Forest Service station and they will be more then happy to help you.
8/20/2015 12:19 AM
As a long time logger and my great great grandfather (piatt) on down from 1890 of north Idaho to now, or I am no longer due to a logging accident some time ago . I make yearly visit there and granted no snowpack at all lolo pass there wasn't nothing at the end of February and when saying this was going to happen to the forest service they lied about that, snow and rain. but since the 1910 fire and every mayor fire we learned from based on a systems of road to creat fire line and wyas to get to them, up until the 70's the forest service hired high school student bound for college planting , doing controlled burns, thinning. it provided jobs and at that time they trained them in case of time like these. also at that time you didn't have to go down there and be school for a day as a logger they do this day, n( funny they just sent out more reg to run a chain saw new this year just posted, sorry side tracked ) already knew you could handle the job. But hate to say it but those in congress and others made the forest service hire all services out and the good people that were in charge before that, with experience were offered a early retirement , which we lost them cause they were being toss out cause of not having so called degrees . replaced by new people and they all cheered reducing the unemployment numbers , we lost every man with a half of mind or had the experience with the local area , forest service also now is based on a point system where you may have a ranger from southern Florida transfer in just cause of his or her pay grade regardless even if they never seen a evergreen tree before. I also remember the head guy for the forest service that took over was so called a grand man cause he broker the land trade deal for the Vail ski resort , and had grand knowledge of tourist work and recreation tourist garbage BS. along with the 25 cent to stop anything we are where we are . but we had man power to fight these fire back then , or those that had some experience . But truly the sadness thing is ,We have the largest air force in the world that will spend billions in funds to play war ,and will go to any other damn country in the world spend millions a day flying food, and what do they do for us here not a flpping thing . I had war tested pilots I loaded logs under that flew mission in war and they told me flying water into a fire is the best training mission they could provide for our service members. ok. I know I am going off way to long this get me so flipping mad
8/21/2015 1:24 PM
My husband worked on the Forest Service Sierra-Nevada Framework. One of the major issue they addressed was a fire plan for the Sierra-Nevadas. The aim was harvesting timber, by thinning to open dense stands, to reduce the risks of fire. He worked on versions 1 and 2 of this plan.These were taken to court by enviromentalist who put a stop to any such plans before they could even become finalized. When last we heard they were working on a third version, but that may never see the light of day (or wildfire), if the the CAVE people (Citizen Against Vertually Everything), have their way. The Federal Government pretty much has their hands tied by the legal processes put in place but enviromentalists.
8/21/2015 5:05 PM
Federal Negligence leads to wildfires....This to will fall on deaf ears!
EA Andy Johnson
8/21/2015 9:45 PM
In my view it all began when Carter politicized the federal land management agencies. It was no longer professional management, but political management directed by the vocal minorities, the enviros and preservationists. They direct the agencies, not the professionals.
8/22/2015 8:03 AM
The FS can't do anything without being sued by one group or another, then they have to wait for rulings. I say get out there and do what's best for our forests, you are getting sued anyhow. We have major beetle ki here. The bulk of our forests are standing dead trees, wind breaks them so that's dangerous and one fire and a very large area will be gone. Responsible logging and grazing is what we need. Bring those back!
8/22/2015 12:39 PM
Protesters and supposed environmentalists along with court systems and judges have limited a lot of what the Forest Service and BLM can do on federal land. The frivolous law suits over logging and thinning keep things from getting accomplished plus the fact that all the people building their homes in and around forested areas without providing defensible space around it also are a cause of the problem. Everyone is always quick to place blame when in a lot of cases all they have to really do is look in the mirror
8/22/2015 3:59 PM
I don't know if anyone with the power to listen or to do anything about the forest fire situation out west or all our forests for that matter, but now that much of our forests will need replanting maybe something positive could be managed more wisely. If the USFS would manage the forests similar to what the Germans do in their forested lands, spacing, clearing, cleaning the forest floor, and supporting land owners with funds to do like wise, we wouldn't have such wild fires with such loss of property, wildlife, livestock, etc.
8/23/2015 3:17 PM
Our only home is State control of lands, asap. We cannot afford this sort of mismanagement. Our kids and grandkids, will never know what a healthy forest looks like. Log it, Graze it, or watch it burn....who will decide?
8/23/2015 5:55 PM
It is called Government Terrorism. How do you think the feds keep getting this billion dollars a year, by doing just this. Its a no brainer.
8/24/2015 2:10 AM
Its easy to blame the BLM & the Forest Service now.. but if it was such a big issue.. why are the farmers & ranchers crying about it now.. instead of before all the fires took off ? There are a lot of factors involved & its just so easy to blame the lack of manageement. Gee... maybe we just haven't had as much rain as we need.. and maybe there 's a heck of alot more lightening happening.. and does anyone ever wonder 'why' there's so much lightning.. emm.. do some research .. instead of spewing off blame on the govn't. Global warming at its best ~
8/24/2015 10:12 PM
I live in N.W. Montana and we are burning. I've watched the Feds. Over the last 30 years gate more and more roads so we can leave our forests in a more natural state. Blowdowns and dead standing litter our forest like a bunch of matchsticks just waiting for the first lightning strike. I used to remove a lot of that dead wood to heat my home, which is getting harder and harder to do. On the positive side I heard they spotted the first pack of wolves in California, can't wait till the Grizzlies arrive.
8/24/2015 11:59 PM
The BLM lands in western Idaho and eastern Oregon are managed for cattle grazing. The allotment requirements are a matter of public record. Are there environmentalist that don't want the land grazed? Sure, there are but they are the ones suing the BLM to try to stop grazing. The BLM is managing the resource while ranchers get to raise their cattle for $1.69 per month per AMU instead of a much higher rate if they graze on private land.
8/25/2015 1:39 PM
Sorry for the ranchers & their cattle, but it is important to have wildfires & the cost to keep them under control is astronomical!!!! Wildfires have been here long before man & will be here long after man!!!!!
8/28/2015 8:20 AM
There have been recent studies in Yosemite that say fires reduce drought by letting smaller living root systems take the place of invasive bigger species. However the study was well stringent on how much average annual burning was beneficial. Normal natural fires happen yes, that doesn't mean run our environment into the ground. Not so much said about our great population of people (sarcasm) but to protect the species of animals that are vital in the west. I'm not sure if everyone is following the Yosemite example because it's been successfully beneficial? (Its still highly regulated as a study structure) Or if it's carelessness.
8/29/2015 9:58 AM
Not only is this federal mismanagement, after the call for local people to help the cause, they were turned away by the federal government agencies that called for the help in the first place. Really makes you wonder if the people within the state know and understand the meaning of management.
8/30/2015 11:50 AM
As long as federal judges allow anti-logging/grazing/hunting/management interests to delay badly needed management activities, Forest Service and BLM agencies will be hamstrung. That said, there are other federal agencies with land management responsibilities that are so overpopulated with anti-logging/grazing/hunting/management activists in their own ranks, that they actually work hard in their attempt to do - nothing!
8/19/2016 7:56 AM
THESE GROUPS ANTI LOGGING .. ETC ALONG WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SHOULD PAY PEOPLE FOR THERE LOSS.. FOR MISS MANAGING OUR FOREST
8/23/2016 7:48 PM
We used to let the forests burn periodically to clean out dead falls and brush. That became politically incorrect and now we put out the fires so they won't burn up the timber and the houses that shouldn't be there. But putting out fires is expensive and the Congress, which wants the fires put out doesn't want to pay for it. Add a five year drought, reduced resources, and few arsonists and you get massive destruction. The correct approach is to require defensive design for buildings, encourage harvesting to thin out growth, and stop trying to extinguish the fires, just bulldoze fire breaks and let them burn out the fuel.
8/22/2017 1:48 PM
The forest service lets these fires get out of control so they can milk. Them for millions . Just hang around these fire camps and you will get a eye full. It is all about the money.
8/24/2017 6:41 PM
Here in Southern Oregon, the BLM and Forest Service have dropped the ball on us twice now! The Biscuit fire in 2002 burned 500,000 acres. They didn't put anyone on it, or do anything for 9 days. It could have been controlled right from the start. But no. They have a let it burn policy.
Now we have the Chetco fire. Could have been stopped at 1/4 acre. One helio drop. They were offered the drop and refused. Wait. Then drop men in, but the terrain isn't the greatest and by then, the crew had to get out. Then let it burn for 30 days. Let it burn itself out in the fall. Then, oh shit! We had better fight this fire. Now that it's uncontrollable. Last I heard it was 250,000 acres. Burned down 5 houses. Offered helicopter drop when it was 1/4 of an acre, but from a different agency, so they declined!!! Why do we have the let it burn policy? And if they are offered to put it out, but by a different government agency, why decline? BLM/Forest Service, it makes no difference to me. They both get paid to manage our forests. They should taken the offer! WTH?
8/24/2017 10:38 PM
You blaim these agencies when they a not the ones to blaim. When you tell those who have the $$ that you need X to be able to do everything you need to do, prescribed burns, area clean up, etc. And they tell you that they are only going to give you an 1/8 of what you need, there isn't much you can do except so what you can with what you have.
You want these agencies to do there job, then let them, give them the funds and resources they need and they will do it and fires like to the ones that have been going on for the last 2 yrs will be less likely to happen.
8/26/2017 12:54 PM
I wonder how many of these fires were started by the BLM or the US Forest
Service to drive Ranchers and Miners off their land? (like they did on Oregon)
8/28/2017 3:22 PM
As a person who was evacuated from their home for 9 days due to the Lolo Peak fire in Montana. We need to manage our forests. This one sided society we have has got to come to a stop. When are people going to realize being extreme to one side or the other is not good. There has to be a balance. Being effected this year by more than just a smokey summer has brought stress and fear of loosing my home. As I sat from a safe distance and watched the flames creep closer to my house. All can think about is the mismanagement of our forests and how sad it's to watch a place love and call home be destroyed. Yes fire is natures way of cleaning but as we all move further into the wilderness we need to be more diligent of managing our forests since fire is not a safe option since they are overgrown and diseased. The ground clearing fires don't exist any more only catostrophic ones do where entire forest is destroyed. This has to stop and it has to stop now! I hope never to have to be standing and watching helplessly as a fire creeps closer to my home and wonder if I am going to have a place to return to. Thick smoke still covers the area helicopters are overhead feeling like being in a war zone and always on edge because all it will take is a shift of the wind and my house will be in the line of fire again. Please do something about this so more people do. It have to go through this!
9/27/2017 11:33 AM
I have read through all the posts and I agree with all perspectives. As a person who lives in Ohio, and is never affected by forest fires, I believe the apathy is as people aren't very aware of how devasting forest fires are. Especially this year. I post information and try to bring up the topic in conversations and look for ways to help. I especially agree with the politicization of farming/ranching/BLM (boo)/ and environmental groups. It's difficult to find a middle ground. Regardless, you are in my thoughts, as well as a lot of my peers. We support you and will donate where we can.
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John Kennedy, deputy director of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, testified before the Senate EPW committee on wildlife management and conservation.