Jim Bull: Support the Forest Service before "The Big Burn" | SummitDaily.com

Jim Bull: Support the Forest Service before "The Big Burn"

Janice Kurbjun’s excellent piece on the Forest Service bark beetle mitigation effort in 2011 is deserving of a future SDN insert or similar. This issue is important. One of the most serious risks we face in Summit County (or any developed area in these mountains) is wild fire. The result and loss from one uncontrolled blaze cannot even be calculated in terms of lives and economy. The Storm King fire in 1994 came disastrously close to wiping out Glenwood Springs. Few outside that city fully appreciate this fact. It killed several brave foresters in the line of duty.

The Forest Service needs help. “The Big Burn,” written by Timothy Egan (NY Times bestseller) is a fascinating story of the creation of the Forest Service under President Teddy Roosevelt and his forestry alter-ego, Giff Pinchot. It should be in every Summit County home library. It tells the story of the virtual destruction of Wallace, Idaho, 100 years ago in 1910. “The Big Burn” should be a lesson that we who choose to live among the trees owe it to ourselves to be supportive, in any way, of the U.S. Forest Service and the 2011 mitigation plan and strategy.

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