Letter to the editor: Clear-cutting is not about fire safety | SummitDaily.com

Letter to the editor: Clear-cutting is not about fire safety

Howard Brown
Mesa Cortina

Why is the Forest Disservice so intent on doing away with our forests? Sunday’s paper announced more than 1,000 acres more planned clear-cutting. This is on top of the previously surreptitiously announced Peaks Trail and other odious Ophir clear-cutting. As with the Peaks Trail, Harrigan Creek is a marvelous area and the planned cutting is miles from any housing.

Why are our county commissioners so unwilling to say, “Wait a minute. Is this really necessary? Shouldn’t we protect our wonderful and economically valuable trails?” No Summit County companies benefit from the planned devastation, only one in Utah and one in Hotchkiss have anything to gain.

“Oh, you can’t fight this; they’re protecting us from fire.” They’re not. What few dead trees there are — the original excuse for the clear-cutting — offer much less “fuel” than live trees. And neither live nor dead trees are nearly as flammable as the grasses, weeds and lodge pole thickets that take over the denuded former forests.

“Oh, but the buffer zones stopped the Buffalo Mountain Fire.” They did not. Hard-working firefighters and mostly massive aerial bombing stopped the fire. Friends: The fire started in the buffer zone. And it started right where a fire-fighting exercise was planned for a week later. The fire was quickly labeled human caused, but a year later, we still haven’t been told how. Buffer zones do make sense as staging areas immediately adjacent to development but not miles away along our wonderful recreational trails.

Using fear of fire to keep residents from trying to preserve our wonderful forests from senseless destruction is deplorable. Demand that our county commissioners take action to stop the devastation. Save our beautiful county from mindless bureaucracy. Save our forests and trails that make our county so wonderful.

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