We are facing what many consider to be the greatest conservation issue of our time. Wildfires are destroying America’s landscapes. But, there is a way out of this dilemma. That is, America’s forestlands need aggressive management so wildfires remain smaller, less destructive and begin again to be a tool for improved forest health — as opposed to destructive behemoths that destroy everything in their path.
Michael T. Rains, former Forest Service employee with almost a half-century of experience, describes the issue in a combined three-part essay: the Brass Ring; Innovative Biomass Uses; and Now Is Our Time.
Over the last 30 years, America’s forests have not been well-maintained and are actually contributing to large fires that are very hard to put out. People are dying, homes are destroyed and massive amounts of landscapes are being changed forever. Since 1980, almost 3 million fires have burned about 190 million acres [an area that is almost the size of all our National Forests and Grasslands], and conservatively estimated, have caused about $600 billion in damages! 617 heroic fire fighters have been killed during this span of time trying to protect the lives of others and their property. It did not have to be this way. The Forest Service needs to shape and begin a long-term campaign that ensures our forests become more resilient to disturbances. Simply put, begin now to “…fix the forests to fix the fires.” Click here to read more and see what needs to be done.