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By Doug Tyndall
Seeley Lake, Mont. 

A Hard Look at Forest Management and Fire Suppression is Needed


August 17, 2017

Before I start let me make it clear, I support and honor all those who are working to control the fires burning near Seeley Lake and throughout Montana. However, those in charge, including the Forest Service and our government representatives need to take a hard look at how our forests are managed and how fires are attacked.

Year after year fires begin and until they threaten communities, a hands off or minimal response seems to be the plan of action. We are told they are a natural part of nature. We are told they are inaccessible. We are told the forest will grow back better than they are. At the same time we shut down logging, we close access roads, we “reclaim fire roads”, and we cut the budget for forest management.

Environmental groups sue every time a harvest plan is introduced and we’re told how bad wood stoves pollute the air, yet we let hundreds of thousands of forest acres burn. They blame global warming, I blame global stupidity.

Surely not every fire can be put out before it spreads. But, if we can spend millions and millions after the fire grows to try and control it, surely we could spend less to put many out before they put lives, property and forest lands at risk.

Maybe nothing will change. But I would encourage everyone to contact and write the governor, congressman, senators and state representatives. Look them up online and send them an email. Changes must be made or we will forever be plagued by summers of smoke.


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