Thought you guys would enjoy my July rant.
<a target="_blank" href=http://www.off-road.com/land/four_corners_0702.html>www.off-road.com/land/four_corners_0702.html</a>
by Brad Ullrich, Land Use Editor
Quite a summer so far here in the four corners. We have fires burning all around us, and all the smoke seems to like to settle right here, got it blowing in from Arizona and running downhill in the Animas River Valley from Colorado.
Speaking of the fires. I'm sure most of you have read some of the seemingly countless op/eds and articles concerning who is to blame for the situation our forests are in right now. I won't bore you with another one, but suffice it to say that yes indeed, the eco-nazis are more than partially to blame. You can't keep the forests healthy if you let the fuel accumulate like it has, and then when you try to do something about it, the minute you propose cutting ANYTHING idiots like The Suckling and his crew at the Center for Biodiversity step in with a law suit to stop you.
Enough of that rant, its been all over the news the past couple weeks. But, on the subject of the fires that have been human caused, it looks like the people that set both parts of the Arizona fire have been identified, and of course the person that set the fire near Denver was arrested a while ago. Its old news that a Forest Service employee set the fire near Denver, a WHITE Forest Service employee, that is. Why stress the white part? You'll see in a minute. The person that set the Chediski part of the big Arizona fire was also a WHITE female, a stupid white female at that. She panicked while hiking, thought she was lost, and set a signal fire…very, very stupid under the conditions the forest was in. OK, now to the last one. Turns out, the Rodeo fire was set intentionally by a White Mountain Apache Fire Fighter., he set it to get more work because he is a part time worker.
Now we have 3 big fires, all human caused, 2 intentionally (?) set and one set out of terminal stupidity, and two of the fires set by white folks. Don't get me wrong, I like white folks, I was born a white boy myself, but let me get to the point. The BIG fire, the Rodeo fire, was set by an Apache Indian. So, what do a lot of the folks in Show Low, Arizona do, they start blaming their neighbors, the White Mountain Apache Tribe. There were signs on cars going back into Show Low after the evacuation was over saying stuff like "Thanks Apaches for setting our forest on fire". Makes me not so proud to be a white boy. Folks, those Apache Indians have as much or more to lose from the fire, a huge portion of the tribe's income is from LUMBER. Yes, that's right, the stuff that burned up all around them. The mill in Whiteriver is laying off ALL of its employees, this is totally devastating to the economy of the whole tribe. And blaming the Apaches for this catastrophe is not only callous, I would classify it as despicable. Folks, those people are feeling the same pain you are…back off!
As I mentioned earlier there is a lot of blame going around concerning the cause of the fires and the conditions of our forests, but the one I personally like best is blaming the Klinton administration. The eco-nazi driven agenda of the 8 Klinton years is in fact largely to blame for the condition of the forests, and everyone knows it. One of Klinton's last acts was to try to get the Roadless Conspiracy in place, a stupid forest management policy that would make our forests even more dangerous and make it more difficult to fight fires and thin out the accumulation of fuel. Fortunately, the Bush administration saw through this idiocy and has placed the Rule on hold, but there seems to be a very misguided group of lawmakers in DC that want to get around the administration's hold on the Rule and pass the Roadless Conspiracy into law. I say to you in DC that are supporting this, it will be political suicide to support the Rule now, unless of course you like being lumped in with a bunch of whacko extreme environmentalists that are taking a great deal of heat right now because of the condition of the forests.
I started this article by saying it has been quite a summer here in the four corners, and I'm not done yet. On to yet another topic that is keeping things hopping here.
The four corners, specifically the area around Farmington, New Mexico has become a mecca for hard core four wheeling. The BLM is currently in the midst of revising the Resource Management Plan (RMP) for about 2 million acres of land in the Farmington district. The draft RMP and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) were released last week, and folks, at first look it does not bode well for the future of hard core four wheeling and competitions such as RCAA in the Farmington area. Keep an eye on this one, the ramifications are potentially enormous. A great amount of my energy in the next couple months will be devoted to this DRMP and trying to get it sorted out to where there is the least amount of damage. You can bet the eco-nazis are going to watch this one too, it could set the tone for management of much of the land here in the southwest, that includes places like Moab, Utah.
That isn't all of it by any means, there are things brewing everywhere. You have the Surprise Canyon plan coming to a head this summer with meetings that the eco-nazis are trying to drum up attendance to in force (see "Keep Off-Road Vehicles out of Death Valley Riparian Jewel Surprise Canyon"), and a whole lot of other things in the works. Its hot, and its only going to get hotter!