California is once again being consumed by fire, with lives lost, billions of dollars in damage, and hundreds of millions of dollars spent to keep all those firefighters risking their lives on the fireline. We hear all the shock and surprise as more than a thousand homes in the city of Redding burns, following the smoky trail of all those other California towns that have burned in recent years. But we don’t fix the problem.
Some people just aren’t paying attention.
They see the smoke on the horizon and wring their hands, and send out more hotshots to control the blaze. They don’t see the cause that one Oregon truck painted on the back of the logs he was hauling, for all the world to see – a cause that is painfully obvious to westerners who know the land, but our city neighbors are blind to it. Its simple, and that one eloquent phrase sums is up: Log it, graze it, or burn it. We can manage the forest or we can let mother nature due it, but one way or the other, those old trees and the brush and grass that grows fresh each year is going to be recycled. Either we send in cows to do it, and be vigilant to keep the trees healthy, or mother nature is going to send in flames to do the job.
The lesson is painfully obvious. The forests must be managed or they will burn. Log it, graze it, or burn it.
But the city folks – the voting majority – aren’t paying attention. The people who live in the country see it, they can’t he[p but see the fires screaming out of the Golden Hills and destroying the small towns and ranches in the path of the flames. We live in a cloud of smoke, actually two clouds – one from the fires, the other from the politicians creating foolish laws in the name of environmental protection, which actually translates to environmental destruction.
But the people in San Francisco and LA are far more concerned about making our state a sanctuary for illegal aliens that commit crimes and end up in our county jails, and making it a crime to use a straw in your soda drink. They are distracted by these empty issues, and they can’t see the forest for the smoke from the burning trees.
How long can we wait for tho people to come to their senses?
I’m Len Wilcox and that’s the Western View from AgNet West and Citrus Industry Magazine. Visit us on the web at www.citrusindustry.net.