Fri, 23 Aug 2002 11:08:51 -0400
>...but aren't forest fires beneficial and
>part of the natural cycle of forest ecosystems?? it was my understanding
>that forests need to burn every so often so it can replenish and provide the
>ground with nutrients...
Forest fires are part of the natural cycle, but the natural cycle has
been so screwed up by humans (environmental change, building homes
where they don't belong, global warming, etc.) that it's hard to
consider today's forest environmental "natural" in one sense.
I don't know nearly enough about forest management to determine whether
Bush is right or wrong here. But I do know that the conditions of the
forests now is a result of 8 years of Clinton with a pro-environment
interior czar (Bruce Babbitt), and the result so far this year is 20
deaths and hundreds of homes destroyed. Even if two fires were set by
humans, the fact that one person can so easily cause so much damage
indicates that the present system is wrong.
So, I'm not sure that either side has a clue as to how to manage forests
given the current environmental situation.