Only WE Can Prevent Forest Fires

Writing in the Washington Times June 1, Professor Tom Bonnicksen explains how we can do as Smokey Bear advised:

We have only two basic choices for dealing with our wildfire crisis.

First, we can acknowledge we need, live in and use our forests every day, and accept our responsibility to restore natural fire-resistant forests and brushlands to the uncluttered state that kept them healthy for thousands of years. This means removing only scientifically selected trees. A restored forest is the first and most important defense against wildfire.

Or, we can let our forests keep growing out of control, knowing the increased tree density is unnatural, caused by human neglect and will lead to huge fires that destroy wildlife habitat, burn homes, trigger mudslides and kill people.

Science shows there is no middle ground.

I recommend the whole thing.

For more writing on the topic, including several on-spot pieces by Tom Bonnicksen, visit our Forest Policy Information Center.

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