30 miles south of me burns the Detwiler fire, 45,000 acres at the moment, and 7% contained. We live a few miles west of 1400 square mile Stanislaus National Forest, which is fire country. All the National Forests I know of are fire country.
Gifford Pinchot and President Theodore Roosevelt founded the National Forest Service at the beginning of the 20th century. They were conservationists, not preservationists. Conservationists believe our forests are lands of many uses, and good forestry management involves harvesting some of the timber.
Properly managed, forests don’t need to be fire country. In many western states, such as Idaho, state owned and managed forests produce timber, and jobs, and are conserved. But they are harvested in such a manner that greatly reduces the risk of catastrophic wild fires. It just takes proper management.
Today’s National Forest Service is run by preservationists, who want to minimize any human impact on the environment, even if it’s benign. They’re the spiritual descendants of John Muir, the original preservationist. These people don’t want to manage forests, they just want to leave them alone. They’re tree huggers.
Secretary of the Interior Zinke knows this, I do believe. He’s from Montana, where the problem is as bad as it is anywhere. He’s having trouble staffing up, due to Democratic stalling in the Senate, but word has it that he’s got a real pistol of a woman from Wyoming to run the Bureau of Land Management. Let’s hope he’s got someone like her to run the Forest Service. For people who live in fire country, it’s a very big deal.
Things are all set up to open up ANWR in 2018. Here’s a link to the story. This will really get the environmentalists excited. These whack jobs think ANWR is “the crown jewel” of America’s Wildlife Refuges. They get away with saying such claptrap because the American people are ignorant.
I’ve been thinking of ways to educate them, and put an article in to the American Thinker. But there are better ways, and I’m exploring them.
My work with the Balanced Budget Amendment Task Force is at a lull, and will stay that way until we raise some money. We don’t get to 34 in 2018 without it, and I haven’t seen any yet.
So I’ll be spending some time working on Alaska politics. State Senator Mike Dunleavy has filed, and I don’t know of a Republican in the state who would be a better nominee. The nomination is his to lose.
But then there’s the incumbent Governor Walker, who ran as a Republican in 2010, before running, and winning, in 2014 as an Independent. Former Senator Mark Begich may run as a Democrat next year, so Walker may run in the Republican primary, and might have a chance of winning. Or he could run as an Independent again. It could all get really interesting.
I’ve been involved in a lot of statewide races in Alaska, beginning in 1978. Working on one again will bring back a lot of memories.
If ANWR opens up, the state of Alaska would start getting a very large revenue stream. Let’s not screw it up this time.