Global warming is a hot topic in coffee shops all over the West Coast. Fear mongering has reached a fever pitch, with people assuming a 1 degree change in temperature will instantly incinerate them like Sarah Connor in the “Terminator 2” nuke scene.
The rampant wildfires have done nothing to ease their worries, with many jumping to blame the Republican Party for natural disasters in a state that has been voting blue in the Electoral College since before the Soviet Union kicked the bucket.
One man does know the truth, and it all goes back to the Clintons, an owl and some old trees.
In 1994, then-President Bill Clinton introduced a plan that would work twofold to save the majestic spotted owl AND ancient trees: Restricting logging in the old-growth forests. Bob Zybach knew that was a mistake.
A forester by trade, Zybach knew how ecosystems thrive, flourish, die and are reborn. With no human management, any forester knows, Mother Nature will do the pruning herself. Instead of forestry saws and burn lines, nature likes things dramatic.
“We knew exactly what would happen if we just walked away,” Zybach told The Daily Caller. Years of mismanagement have served to turn the forests into a ticking time bomb. This has not always been the case, however.
Zybach said that Native Americans practiced human management of forests, starting controlled burns to clear pastureland and undergrowth for hunting. Shortly after they were driven out and their practices stopped, the West Coast’s first rash of wildfires happened.
Now these states are repeating the same mistakes their settler ancestors made.
“You take away logging, grazing and maintenance, and you get firebombs,” Zybach said.
Although not strictly a “firebomb,” the wildfires are so violent that they have spawned a “firenado” from the sheer intensity of the heat.
With record wildfires engulfing over 600,000 acres, Zybach’s prediction has played out in a deadly fashion.
While wildfires do happen across the country, poor management by western states has served to turn entire regions into tinderboxes. By letting nature play out its course so close to civilization, this is the course California and Oregon have taken.
Many in heartland America and along the Eastern Seaboard often see logging and firelines if they travel to a rural area. This is part and parcel of life outside of the city, where everyone knows that because of a few minor eyesores their houses and communities are safer from the primal fury of wildfires.
Across Oregon and California, 22 fires are running out of control on 762,000 acres of land.
It makes you wonder how the owls are doing.
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