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by Kirk MacKenzie, ©2012, blogging at Defend Rural America

(Aug. 5, 2012) — Most Americans love their forests and have in their minds an image of open, accessible forests with tall healthy trees, open glens with dappling sunshine redolent of cathedrals, and abundant wildlife.

That is the image. It is no longer the reality.

Current federal government policies of neglect and abandonment are destroying our forests. Just like unmanaged lawns, unmanaged forests are unhealthy forests. The trees become too dense, the trees become thin and weakly, insufficient water leads to dry wood, insect infestation sets in, and the amount of fuel per acre―as measured in trees or tons per acre―all combine into a perfect storm that leads to catastrophic fires that race along overly dense canopies and become so hot, they literally melt the ground. The trees are destroyed, which the Forest Service now refuses to replant, and nearly all of the animal life, including the very species these policies are allegedly designed to protect.

Simply stated, our forests are in crisis.

Government is the problem. The utter failure of government policies is only too apparent as all-time record forest fires have become the norm in one state after another. Only the People can bring sanity back to managing this critical resource.

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