Letters to the editor: 09-24-2013

September 24, 2013 

Forest management

Active forest management is not a guarantee for forests to survive a severe fire. Sadly, the Statesman in its commentary on the Elk Fire failed to discuss many of the factors governing fire severity.

Where were the facts on the total Idaho jobs resulting from the historical management or the dollars that went to Idaho’s schools from IDL lands harvested?

While as a forester and officer with Boise Cascade, we analyzed the incidence and severity of fires on company lands.

Although the incidence rates were similar; for every ninety acres of forest that burned on neighboring federal forests Boise burned less than one acre.

The reasons and lessons are clear and simple. Like most of Idaho’s private forests and Idaho Department of Lands forests today; Boise forests were actively managed, have good road access, and are part of an effective, state managed cooperative firefighting organization.

The USFS now openly admits that approximately 38 percent of all USFS forests are unhealthy and are at risk of wildfire. This is a national tragedy and emergency. It is long past time for FEMA emergency “authorities” to “prevent” catastrophic wildfires through active management of federal forests.

DAVID NEW, Boise

Managing lands

Rocky Barker exhibits his usual tunnel vision for anything he doesn't understand or doesn't like. He, along with Mr. Rasker, also use little logic in the recent article on “public lands.”

Idaho has the same “features” as Montana in “our backyard,” especially regarding major metro areas of southern Idaho. And the same drawbacks for rural areas. Yet, personal income and GDP growth for Idaho lags that of Montana, according to Rasker. So the analogy doesn’t work.

Barker’s hints, as usual, are bogus. Therefore, it must be for other reasons. Maybe it’s because Montana has no sales tax? Maybe it’s because education levels, as Rasker hints, are higher in Montana. For whatever the reason it’s not due to being adjacent to large amounts of federal land, the proxy Barker was straining to use.

Barker strains again to misdirect the issue that public lands taken back by Idaho remain public lands, only in the hands of the state and not the feds. Idaho can obviously cover the cost of tending those lands. If we can run our lands the way every other state east of the Rockies does.

Why do you wish us to remain a second-class state, Rocky?

JEFF WRIGHT, Lowman

Fire blame

Reading the article about the Fall Creek fire, I was not surprised in the least to see that Rocky Barker would throw the blame on climate change. Give me a break!

I have lived in Idaho all of my 57 years and yes the fires are far more frequent and devastating than they were 25 years ago.

Maybe it should be reported how the environmental groups who really only care about the billions they win in court cost each year sue the Forest Service, BLM and NFWS so often they have effectively made any kind of management plan such as logging, grazing or thinning impossible.

It’s time for some new legislation to limit these senseless and destructive groups from milking the billions of our tax dollars from the federal government. Not only is it costly but it’s destroying our wonderful state.

ANTHONY MILLER, Kuna

USPS

I must disagree with Mr. Ingraham regarding keeping the Postal Service alive. There has been too long a history of repeated terrible decisions, poor service and enormous financial losses. There are far too many alternate communications methods available in the 21st century to waste another precious taxpayer dollar on the postal service.

One example: a package is to be sent from Bend, Ore., to Meridian — a roughly five-hour drive. The Postal Service takes it from Bend to Phoenix, back to Bend, then to Boise and finally to Meridian. What mind-numbing ridiculousness.

WENDIE LOSHBAUGH, Meridian

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