Featured Voices

Opinion: Is Money Driving The Rush To Burn America?

Oregon U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D) has a new bill he’s pushing. 

Wyden wants to spend $300-Million in taxpayer money to burn more of America, because it creates jobs… jobs burning and jobs when the burning goes terribly wrong

‘They lost everything in New Mexico’s biggest wildfire.’ ‘Now they’re sounding the alarm for others‘ (about prescribed fire disaster)

“When the federal government accidentally triggered New Mexico’s largest wildfire, hundreds of people lost their homes and livelihoods. They have become reluctant students of forest management, disaster aid and resiliency.”

Source NM

Nevertheless, The Nature Conservancy loves it… prescribed fire that is,  according to Katie Sauerbrey, the Program Director at The Nature Conservancy. Ms. Sauerbrey received an MS in Environmental Science and Policy from Northern Arizona University with a focus on public acceptability of smoke from prescribed fire.  

According to the publication, Wildfire Today, The Nature Conservancy has been conducting RxFire (prescribed Burns) in Oregon since 1983. 

It’s hard to ignore how the pyro-lovers use the term ‘prescribed’ and ‘Rx’ with burning or fire to suggest some form of wholesale cure or validation of burning more landscape and adding even more smoke into the lungs of humans. 

Not to mention adding more hydrocarbons to the atmosphere while condemning any other profitably industry that produces even a token amount of hydrocarbons to enter the atmosphere, while they scream ‘climate change’.

The hypocrisy has reached new levels when it comes to forest and landscape management by people who are arguably following a socialist left-wing agenda… taking America back into the stone-age, say some.My take on Wyden’s ridiculous National Prescribed Fire Act of 2024 (proposed bill)

This is just one more of Wyden’s socialist-style shovel-ready work programs… 

An expensive, ineffective, taxpayer funded band-aid over a bleeding artery.  It’s just obtuse to keep buying buckets to put under a leaking roof, when fixing the roof is far more cost-effective with less collateral damages.  RxFire is in that same boat.  

We have millions of acres of remote wilderness in OR & CA that is choked with grass and brush due to 2.5-Million missing deer that formerly consumed about 3-million tons of annual grass and brush.  

I can’t image anyone being crazy enough to suggest we burn even a million acres in Oregon and/or California every 2-3 years, let alone millions of acres, especially when there is a far superior, nature-based cost-effective solution!

Our Non-profit is the only nonprofit public benefit corporation that has a proven (wildfire-tested) grazing program that helped CALFIRE’s suppression of the deadly 38,000 acre Klamathon Fire in 2018.

Anyone who has fought fire understands the value of the fuel-reduced landscape... it’s better than having to fight fire with one foot in the black.As we see in the image below, a family of wild horses in the Cascade Siskiyou National Monument cost-effectively created and maintains a large fire resilient landscape:

This is just one of the many areas of reduced fuels by horse-grazing that helped CALFIRE save the CSNM for total incineration, and possibly saved Ashland Oregon from the same fate!

What we see in the image above is superior to costly RxFire (monetary and environmental costs of RxFire are high), and safely sequesters carbon instead of volatilizing it in areas economically unsuited to commercial livestock fire-grazing due to predation (lions, wolves, bears) and transport-logistics costs.

I was on the fire-line of the Klamathon Fire  for 9-days continuously as the technical advisor to CALFIRE – Fresno commanders on the Camp Creek line (goal line defense for the Cascade Siskiyou National Monument)… 

It’s a plain fact that the reduced grass and brush fuels due to our herd of horses grazing an area unsuited to commercial livestock reduced the intensity of the fire at the boundaries of areas grazed, and that increased the efficacy of suppression by CALFIRE.

Moreover, trees used by horses were made fire resilient as was the landscape, resulting in the fire burning more naturally, ‘low and slow’.

Insurance industry analysts examined the herbivory of horses during the Klamathon Fire, and in other areas unsuited to commercial livestock and agreed, so much so, at their cost ($100k) they produced an 8-min. documentary about it.

AM BEST (since 1896insurance industry analysts:  https://www.ambest.com/video/video.aspx?s=1&rc=wildhorses323

There have been numerous science-based rebuttals condemning RxBurns as a flawed and expensive grains of sand off a beach of grass and brush wildfire fuels.  

And the continued disregard to causation for the abnormally prodigious annual grass and brush fuels related to our collapsed herbivory shows a failure in a holistic understanding of wilderness ecology.  Even Dr. William Ripple (OSU) cited the collapsed herbivory as the causation of abnormal grass and brush fuel loads, as have dozens of other scientists.  Denying this fact suggests either a bias for monetary reasons or ignorance of the published science.

Most recent resource management plans (RMPs) for public lands cite the fact that RxBurning (which has very limited applications) cannot be implemented without ‘pre-treatment’ of wildfire fuels to reduce fuel loading to prevent extensive heat damage to the landscape.

The latest science suggests that Low-Intensity fires damage soils more than previously believed: https://www.dri.edu/low-severity-wildfires-impact-soils-more-than-previously-believed/

Here are two articles published at the California Globe on this subject of RxFire: 

1. https://californiaglobe.com/fr/is-prescribed-burning-oversold/#:~:text=Generally%2C%20on%20landscapes%20lacking%20proper,itself%20and%20become%20over%2Dabundant.

2. https://californiaglobe.com/fr/wildfire-season-is-almost-here/

Pagosa Daily Post:https://pagosadailypost.com/2023/01/06/opinion-are-prescribed-burns-the-silver-bullet/

ABC NEWS:  https://www.kdrv.com/video/more-wild-horses-equals-less-fire-fuels/video_8b3c4ab9-9e43-5c6f-ae4b-89351b795ab1.html

One Comment

  1. Barbara Bocca

    Thank you so much for this informative article. I will share it out!

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