An insightful and fascinating commentary is posted at The American Thinker. In it, author Richard Zuber systematically lays out how environmentalist policies were a major factor in contributing to California’s wildfires that raged for most of December. In part, Zuber points out:
According to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE), shrubs and live and dead vegetation are the most important factor in forest fires, being an easily ignitable fuel source that helps spread the flames quickly over vast distances. For a dry and warm state prone to fires, regular clearing measures removing this vegetation should be common sense. However, California has enacted several laws that heavily restrict such vital fire-preventing measures as logging, removal of dead trees, and clearing of dry underbrush.
During a congressional hearing in May, California congressman Tom McClintock blasted environmentalists for having fervently opposed such measures since the early 1970s. Instead, they have been advocating that forests be left to their own devices – despite the fact that thousands of years of history shows that forests need to be appropriately maintained in order to reap all their benefits and reduce the risk of fires. This understanding of the environment has too often been trumped by politics in California.
When a 2013 environmental impact report advocated the benefits of large-scale vegetation management in San Diego County, activists violently rejected its conclusions. As in the decades before, concerns over wildlife and environmental impacts were ultimately more important than the safety of fellow citizens, with the result that brush and dead vegetation were allowed to accumulate unimpeded for more than forty years.
Ironically, 2013 also saw a range of massive wildfires across California that were exacerbated by the U.S. Forest Service failing to follow through on crucial tree-thinning projects. The same happened immediately before the recent devastating fires, with the U.S. Forest Service once again neglecting to clear brush in the woods around Los Angeles as originally planned.
Legislation was proposed last year in Congress that would permit forest thinning on federal lands that removes dead trees and brush that are fuel for forest fires. Doing so would reduce incidents like wildfires seen in California. But, not surprisingly, environmentalists opposed to such efforts like they have many times before.
As a result of environmentalist opposition to forest management, it lead to massive property damage in The Golden State. Environmentalists would rather people die and their lifestyles destroyed since greens view humans as a plague on the Earth. Californians and people in other states whose lives have been ruined by forest fires should direct their scorn at environmentalists organizations, like the Center for Biological Diversity, since they made it all possible.