Fires are preventable
Climate change may be a thing, but these fires are preventable. I’m so glad my children will not be biking, hiking, swimming or playing in any of Medford’s wonderful parks this summer. Bring on the depression, vitamin D deficiency and technology addiction, because someone is robbing my children of their childhood summers. How much is a child’s seventh summer worth? How about their eighth? Feels priceless to me.
We are the powerless masses suffering because a few idealists don’t want to take responsibility for a failed idea. Twenty-five years after decreeing that forests are better without human management, logging roads have disappeared, underbrush has matured, and every year for the past seven things have grown strikingly worse.
We got two weeks of summer this July (since June was remarkably wet and cool), and now it’s over. Climate change may be affecting things in its own slow, subtle way, but that is an entirely separate conversation. Manage the forests responsibly and then analyze climate change. This has to stop now or Medford’s wine venues, country shows, weddings, berry-picking, fishing, festivals, theater, rafting, and the like will all but disappear. Then our only sales will be air filters and moving boxes.
We deserve better
I’m disappointed by the opinion piece that ran Sunday, July 22 in which a timber industry representative pointed to the fires affecting our communities as a reason to increase logging and decrease protections for forests on public lands.
The Klamathon fire was primarily a grass and brush fire that was started by an unwise burn barrel in dry, windy conditions. Scores of homes were lost and lives were affected. A dear friend of mine passed away when he was overcome by the flames. This is personal for me. For David Schott to exploit this tragedy as a means to attack public lands and promote unfettered logging is shameful.
When the Klamathon Fire reached the forests of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument the fire lines held and fire was contained. For Schott to link his distaste for public lands to extreme fire behavior is misguided and plain wrong.
As I write this, firefighters are literally putting their lives on the line trying to protect homes threatened by the Garner Complex near Grants Pass. The landscape in which that fire is burning is riddled with clearcuts, dense young timber plantations and logging roads. We deserve better from the timber industry than fire-prone tree plantations and divisive rhetoric.
City Council circus
You snooze, you lose. It should have been easy for the Ashland City Council to have passed the Wildfire Mitigation Ordinance, but you probably already know it is hard for the mayor to herd cats.
After attending the City Council’s circus on Tuesday I can tell you that it would behoove the population of Ashland to heed “where there is no vision the people perish” as viable scripture, because the opposite of love is apathy.
This key piece of the Fire Department’s whole visionary plan for the highest and greatest good of the city was backtracked, largely due to the new councilor highnesses on the block preferring storming over norming. How disgusting that the more seasoned councilors also chose devitalizing vocabulary that represented selfish interests, and the mayor acquiesced to their weakness.
The warrant is that the citizens of the Constitution of the USA didn’t get off their derrières to turn out in full support against compromises to gut the ordinance’s defense of lives and property.