Wildfires and land management litigation

No doubt the search for policy lessons from the catastrophic Southern California wildfires (N.Z. Bear, CBS8) is in its early stages, and no doubt multiple contributing factors will wind up being implicated. Many, though, recall the controversy that hit the front pages after disastrous 2002 wildfires in Arizona, when it was revealed that Forest Service attempts to reduce fire risk by clearing underbrush, installing firebreaks and permitting logging of excessive growth had been heavily litigated and delayed in court by environmental groups (Jul. 1-2 and Jul. 12-14, 2002). Just last month scientists testified that efforts to “step up tree removal efforts and prescribed fire programs” were needed to counter growing fire risk (Ben Goad, “Speed forest thinning to ease fire threat, experts say”, Riverside, Calif., Press-Enterprise, Sept. 24). Michelle Malkin and readers have a big discussion (Oct. 23; & welcome readers from there). More from CEI’s Hans Bader and Robert Nelson and again from Michelle Malkin (per L.A. Times report, brush clearance and forest thinning credited with saving homes around Lake Arrowhead).


  • And now those fires are releasing Millions(Billions?) of tons of carbon into the atmosphere.

    When will we see a headline: Environmentalists cause Global Warming!

  • Funny you should mention that, OBQuiet. The same thing happened in Montana and Idaho. Environmental groups blocked the clearing of hundreds of square miles of dead trees damaged by bark beetles (think dead gray forest as far as the eye can see). These trees would have been turned into useful lumber. Instead, this summer’s fires not only burned the dead trees, but a huge amount of adjacent live forest. The smoke was so bad it was clearly visible on weather satellite photos for nearly two months, and covered most of western MT and Central ID.

  • And they’ll happily do the same thing again as soon as they get the opportunity.

    Truly, they are insane.

  • Are these fires in the same area where the enviromentalists fought the Federal and State governments to keep from clearing dead brush because it might endanger the Spotted Church Mouse? I wonder how many of those little mice got vaporized in the fire? Perhaps environmentalists can sue other environmentalists for the devastation of the fire.

  • Maybe a suit of these groups is in order?

    You know, just to recover damages caused by their lawsuits!

    They already p;ace themselves into all too many areas that are in direct conflict with their 501c3 status.

    Seems the laws of the USA really are meaningless.