Sun. May 26th, 2024

By Samuel Strait, Reporter at Large – August 27, 2021

California encompasses over one hundred million acres of land surface. 
It is one of the largest States in this Country. Currently just over one
and a half million acres and growing have gone up in smoke and flame.  
While this has been typical for several years now, it is by no means any
thing out of the ordinary from California’s history of large scale
burns.  Prior to the westward expansion of Europeans in the United
States in the 1800s, fires of far greater magnitude have been documented
to have occurred in the State. Some estimates place the number of acres
burned in the past as nearing or exceeding four million acres, without
even a tip of the hat to “Climate Change”.

Prior to the 1970s when logging was in play fire acreage had diminished
to a manageable level in the Western United State, including
California.   After the Federal Government saw fit to pass the
Endangered Species Act and states like California improved upon it with
legislation of their own, Forest Management became a lost art form.  In
the succeeding fifty years, fire damaged acreage began to inch towards
its previous pre 1800s levels as the forests, federal and state, lacked a
coherent planned forest management system.  In the late 90s when forest
fires in California once again became problematic, environmentalists,
not wishing all their hard work to eliminate logging to go to waste,
latched on to “Global Warming”, and now “Climate Change” as the culprit.

Recently our Hairness in Chief, Gavin Newsom, visited some of the recent
devastation caused by wild fires in the State, and as in his empty
suited nature proclaimed once again, “Climate Change” was the obvious
cause of this now annual crisis.  This year it was warmer spring weather
that created more moisture less fuel loads that were easy targets for
the summer month’s typical thunder and lightening storms.  Problem
explained!  But wait a minute, it is always hot and dry in California in
the summer and smaller snow pack can’t reasonably explain why there is
so much dry fuel load on the ground in the first place.

When the empty suit took office in 2019, he met with then President
Trump, bemoaning the fact that the Feds weren’t doing much Forest
Management recently and intimated that he in the lofty position of
Governor would like them to step up.  After all he had promised the
voters of California he was going to do his part on State lands in
California.  Seems the figure of 90,000 acres of state land was to be
managed to prevent future wild fires.  More money was to be allocated
for the purpose and all would be headed at least in the right
direction.  It was until Newsom’s administration had second thoughts,
the money was diverted and the acreage reduced to a bit over 11,000
acres.  Ooops!

The lack of Forest Management in the State and on Federal lands came
back to create a banner year in 2021 for wild fires, but “Climate
Change” is really the problem.  At least in Newsom’s mind.  Tell that to
the people that have suffered the loss of over 1,000 structures in this
fire season alone.   Until Forest Management is recognized as an
integral part of containing the random summer wild fires, growing in
number as it has been neglected, the increase in CO2 created by the
fires will only acerbate the environmental issues with the gas in
California.  Of course that would require a seismic shift in thinking by
our Governor, clearly something he finds difficult.

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