Current Public Lands management by the Bureau of Land Management (‘BLM’) and the United States Forest Service (‘USFS’), or more correctly posited as ‘mismanagement‘, is seriously and adversely affecting all Americans. Americans are paying taxes only to receive a deadly return for their hard-earned tax dollars.
Let's look at the obvious elephant in the room, which some legislators and officials are trying desperately to sweep under the rug and out of mind only because the actual solution to catastrophic wildfire (reestablishing the native herbivory on the landscape) is not as profitable to an emerging group of profiteers as is perpetuating wildfire.
Perpetuating Catastrophic Wildfire As A Sustainable And Profitable Business?
Wildfire suppression businesses are growing, along with businesses, large and small that supply training, equipment, supplies and even advertising, all profiting from the incineration of America’s public lands, and spreading to private lands. The United States Forest Service (‘USFS’) is arguably the largest employer in the wildfire suppression business, currently spending about $2-billion annually of American’s tax dollars, which is about 50% of the USFS total budget.
More here on the build-out and the money (note all the advertisers also): https://wildfiretoday.com/2020/12/22/congress-passes-funding-bill-for-federal-firefighting-agencies/
This is particularly worrisome because the profiteers milking these firestorm disasters for hundreds of $-millions annually are now lobbying legislators to create facilities for more careers in the business, which means more sales of training, equipment and supplies, and even more money in the pockets of profiteers who care less about a genuine solution to catastrophic wildfire and more about money.
Creating careers in an industry that needs to collapse IF we are doing what's right (reducing catastrophic wildfire) for the health, safety and welfare of all Americans, is reckless, to be polite about it. This is especial true because there is an immediately available solution that will, according to the best peer-reviewed published and empirical science, reduce catastrophic wildfire (Here: www.WHFB.us)
Allowing This Form Of Public Lands Mismanagement Is Deadly!
Breathing even a tiny amount of toxic smoke from wildfires, and in the off-season so-called 'controlled burns', is quickly increasing the morbidity rates for all Americans who are exposed to even the smallest amount of smoke according to the newest medical studies to this point. The excerpt from one such study is below, from a new NIH published Study.
"According to our health impact assessment, each week of wildfire smoke exposure at the measured ambient air concentrations would lead to 87.6 (95% CI: 70.9, 103.1) cases of increased all-cause mortality, 19.1 (95% CI: 10.0, 28.2) increased cardiovascular disease deaths, and 9.4 (95% CI: 5.1, 13.5) increased respiratory disease deaths."
If elected officials and legislators are actually sincere in their efforts to stop catastrophic wildfire, then the current paradigm of ignoring a genuine cost-effective solution must end. Legislators and officials who merely say they are trying to reduce catastrophic wildfire while concurrently allowing catastrophic wildfire to provide the basis for a growing financial enterprise at the expense of American lives, including babies and children, is barbaric and corrupt.
And this doesn't even take into account the irreversible damage to our ecosystems and life forms therein.
The Big Losers; Or Winners If We Make Changes:
The big losers from public lands mismanagement leading-to and helping to sustain catastrophic wildfire include, but are not limited to the following:
First and foremost, American taxpayers are getting taken to the cleaners by public lands mismanagement that results from complacent, uncaring legislators and agency officials who are incentivized and lobbied by profiteers.
Second, the future of a renewed sustainable forest products industry.
Trees don’t grow overnight and remaining forests are in serious jeopardy. As more and more forests are incinerated by catastrophic wildfire, that potentially bright future for a renewed sustainable forest products industry is growing dimmer each year as catastrophic wildfires are allowed to devastate forest after forest, incinerating trees (old and new) by the millions of acres.
Thirdly, vanishing wilderness areas.
Wilderness areas are stricken by catastrophic wildfires as a result of wildlife mismanagement that has allowed the continued ill-advised depletion of large bodied herbivores. Even during this critical time of evolving catastrophic wildfire, there are obtuse people at the BLM and USFS who are rounding-up and removing some of the last native species American wild horses from wilderness areas, further exaserbating the depletion of large bodied native herbivores at a time when we desperately need more!
"By altering the quantity and distribution of fuel supplies, large herbivores can shape the frequency, intensity, and spatial distribution of fires across a landscape” ~ Oregon State University Forestry Professor - William J. Ripple1
"The removal of large herbivores has adverse effects on landscape structure and ecosystem functioning. In wetter ecosystems, the loss of large herbivores is associated with an increased abundance of woody plants and the development of a closed-canopy vegetation. In drier ecosystems, reductions of large grazers can lead to a high grass biomass, and thus, to an increase in the frequency and intensity of wildfires” ~ Jozef Keulartz – Professor Emeritus Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands
Native species large-bodied herbivores such as deer and wild horses are nature’s evolved wildfire fuels reduction experts. This is especially true of native species American wild horses, since they keep grass and brush fuels grazed and maintained to nominal levels year-round, even as they symbiotically reseed native species plants; a task that cattle and sheep cannot perform as invasive species ruminants, which digest virtually all plant seeds they consume.
A native species herbivory on the landscape keeps wildfires from burning at catastrophically hot temperatures, which is the key to devolving super-hot catastrophic wildfire back into the realm of the needed normal wildfire that burns low and slow on the landscape.
Wildfires in wilderness areas are now highly fueled due to depleted native large bodied herbivores with resulting overly abundant annually occurring grass and brush. These unnaturally abundant fuel loads are what creates and fuels catastrophically hot wildfires, which incinerate riparian areas, pasteurize soils, destroying soil-stabilizing root systems and leading to catastrophic erosion. The post-wildfire season arrival of spawning salmon and trout is then met with the silting-in of spawning beds and ultimate suffocation of fish eggs, ending fish runs and resulting in the loss of fisheries.
Money cannot and must not be the primary ruling factor in public lands management. If we continue on this path, we will pay dearly with human life.