In response to Chip Henry’s recent letter on wildfires: Saying Native Americans did not manage forests, yet America didn’t burn down. ignores two big facts. First, paleontologists have found events of colossal fires over the millennia, so fires occurred. Second, millions of people did not live in and around these areas even 100 years ago. and human accidents or arsonists were not around to cause fires either. Now there are both.
Regardless of whether one believes climate change is caused by human activity or not, the 30-year-plus Western drought is undeniable. Having many millions of humans living in or near forests requires we manage wilderness areas if we want to keep them. This is called conservation, a notion championed by Teddy Roosevelt 100 years ago, long before “climate change” became an issue.
Coupling the growth in population with drought means management is even more urgent. “Let it burn” ignores the likelihood more lives will be lost, more animals will die and more acres of precious, often protected, wilderness will be lost. It is irresponsible.