Response to a US Forest Service request for input on a Forest Management Plan for NE of Santa Fe NM.
In the past, they have listened to wealthy landowners who have chosen to live on lovely Canyon Road, (that I also live very near to and have cherished all my life, my best childhood friend lived at the very end of the public road duo). Canyon Road leads to the whole national forest and the Santa Fe reservoirs above.
It has been considered one of the top ten ’tinderbox’ areas in the entire western US and if a fire were to ignite here, it could spread, possibly as an ‘Apocalypse Fire’ all the way to Colorado. They have done great work thinning in the area, using a lot of controlled burns to manage the area reducing fire risk however in the process, absolutely zero fire was allocated for the locals. The locals didn’t even know what happened to them unless they were free to go to lots of midday meetings at obscure locations which were nearly exclusively attended by ‘activists’ who oppose any ‘logging’. To say that use of wood from a fire management effort amounts to ‘logging’ is not only ignorant but deceptive and is tantamount to social theft of resources. Santa Fe and Northern NM is a community where a LOT of people depend on firewood for day to day heat and cooking. Culturally, historically and currently. To spend millions of dollars and not create a single sustainable wood related job is criminal. That is the model practiced here in the past and which is likely to prevail again if no-one speaks out against it.
My slogan, based on an African model has always been:
“If you don’t allow the tribesman or pygmy who lives at the edge of the rainforest or the base of the mountain, to have a living from that forest, which will allow him to feed, clothe and care for his family, and maybe take his children to town once a year,
then you may full well expect that person to kill the elephants, eat the gorillas and grow the poppies so he will be able to do so.”
You cannot remove man from the equation. Is it your goal to move everyone to the city? Hmm? I for one am not going and neither will a lot of my friends.
Also; do some homework on the 4FRI initiative in Arizona. It is ongoing but has spent millions and struggled somewhat pathetically to find a way forward on a huge environmental forestry project in and around the Four Forests of the Grand Canyon.
I know; we are working with tribes in the area to help jump start a failed and failing timber industry, needed to support that effort. Unless you, the taxpayer, wants to just fund it all. Our version of the triple bottom line model is to find markets, at home and abroad for higher value-added products able to bring value to the forests, sustainable jobs to the community and sanity to the process. And make a beautiful, resilient forest in the process. Lots of bugs, lots of wildlife, lots of water…. Small fires that will burn ‘well’ and benefit the environment. Thats the ticket.