Op-Ed

Wildfire Battle: Environmentalists Double Down on Letting Forests Burn

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Recently three men hailing from local environmentalist groups gathered together like lint in a dark place to compare notes and craft an opinion piece that was then published in the Medford Mail Tribune in an attempt to minimize the value of “Wild Horse Fire Brigade” and the many intelligent people (scientists, firefighters, politicians and Americans) who already support it.

The op-ed was titled “All the king’s horses can’t make wildfires go away” and written by Dennis Odion, Dominick DellaSala and Dominic DiPaolo.

I guess three environmentalists against one rancher is fair, right? It is, of course, a familiar modus operandi. Like school-yard bullies, they gang up and attempt to harness mob psychology to overcome anything they disagree with.

The grant-stream environmentalists, who have gotten it wrong so often over the past three decades, are worried; they have lost credibility after presenting many failed views on so many subjects, from wildfire management and sustainable timber harvest to wildlife management and global warming, which is now embarrassingly being re-branded as climate change. So now, they seem more desperate and obtuse than ever! They are doubling down on their “let it burn” position.

It appears some of the people of the same ilk may have even stooped to attempting to spy on our privately owned lands in a Machiavellian effort to craft a counter-report on the effectiveness of “Wild Horse Fire Brigade” on our private lands, even though the local results are established by our studies and confirmed by regional ODF fire personnel and a renowned wildlife ecologist, who have over time seen the beneficial results of the local wild horses, as I discuss on the Bill Meyer Show.

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The loss of credibility by these off-base environmentalists distills down to the one thing they fear most: the loss of grants.

But we can never discount the ego factor. When environmentalists are wrong, they never seem to admit it. Not very sporting of them, I say — and it smacks of intellectual dishonesty. Learning from failure is of vital import in any endeavor, but that of course requires first admitting failure.

Apparently they hate free practical solutions like WHFB. It seems they prefer to see the forests, wildlife and watersheds burn to a crisp and America’s wild horses killed. They offer NO viable solutions to any of these problems.

They embrace so-called solutions that cost taxpayers lots of money because they usually have a scheme that allows them to siphon off some of it by adding their influence in some manner. Of course, allowing wild horses to accomplish some of the job at no cost to taxpayers while saving the Bureau of Land Management $80 million annually is just too practical for them, and there is no cash flow in that equation for them.

Do you think grant money is more important to many environmentalists than effectiveness is?

If environmentalists were as smart as they claim, they should have embraced the WHFB and then presented it to the BLM and U.S. Forest Service, perhaps requesting some of the savings as funding to study the efficacy and further implementation of the plan. However, their myopic attention to outdated dogma has prevented them from thinking outside their own intellectual confinement. Their minds are held prisoner by their ideologies.

They require a lexicon of Latin terminology to discuss and implement their concepts, which by design keeps 98 percent of the American public from understanding what they are saying about their ideas and therefore effectively excluding most Americans and stakeholders from the debate.

Fire prevention and making forests more fire resilient is simple:

Less grass and brush = less fuel. Less fuel = less fire. Less fire = less heat.

DellaSala, Odion and DePaulo can’t seem to comprehend the elegance of simplicity.

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All this lunacy has to change, or our rights (and ultimately us) will be next after America’s forests and wild horses are gone. Wildfires burned about 10 million acres in 2017 and of that, many millions of acres burned were wilderness and forest lands. That is not sustainable. There are only 107,000 native wild horses left in America — and 50,000 of those are in corrals and arguably slated to be killed by one means or another by the BLM.

My full response to the op-ed can be read here.

Capt. Bill Simpson is a retired U.S. Merchant Marine Officer, commercial airplane and helicopter pilot, Master SCUBA Diver, gemologist, university instructor and specialist in long-term off-grid survival and disaster preparedness. He has appeared on National Geographic’s hit TV show “Doomsday Preppers,” and his first book, “The Nautical Prepper”  was the first of its kind. His work has been featured and republished via numerous magazines and websites, including his own.

The views expressed in this opinion article are those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by the owners of this website. If you are interested in contributing an Op-Ed to The Western Journal, you can learn about our submission guidelines and process here.

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Capt. Bill Simpson is a retired U.S. Merchant Marine Officer, commercial airplane and helicopter pilot, Master SCUBA Diver, gemologist, university instructor and specialist in long-term off-grid survival and disaster preparedness. He has appeared on National Geographic's hit TV show "Doomsday Preppers," and his first book, "The Nautical Prepper"  was the first of its kind. His work has been featured and republished via numerous magazines and websites, including his own.




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