Category: San Andreas

Y2Kyoto: State Of Ignis Envirosa

How environmentalists destroyed California’s forests;

Right now I’m seeing the mountains I grew up in — where I went to school, where I hung out, camped, backpacked, boated, cheated death and generally formed the foundation of my character — burning down. It makes me sad and angry.
 
This didn’t have to happen. Once upon a time, forests in California were logged, grazed, and competently managed. It wasn’t always perfect, but generally it worked.
 
Fires, which are a natural part of that ecosystem, were generally small — not just benign but beneficial. Land management focused on keeping the forest healthy for all involved, whether they were loggers, ranchers, fishermen, hunters, homeowners, or backpackers.
 
But then things started to change. Groups such as the Sierra Club and National Resources Defense Council began to drive a myopic agenda of protecting environmental interests at all costs. Logging was shut down. Grazing was banned. Controlled burning and undergrowth clearance were challenged and subjected to draconian regulations. Fires were put out as quickly as possible.
 
So the trees grew closer and closer together. Undergrowth, unchecked by grazing, cutting, or burning, grew thick and tall enough to reach the branches of mature trees.
 
The forests became thick and overgrown, but man, they sure looked nice and green from a scenic overlook.
 
Sawmills shut down and the cattle business went elsewhere. Thriving towns dried up and nearly went under. We started importing lumber and beef from Brazil and other places with objectively horrible environmental track records. And the vegetation kept growing.

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