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Old 06-16-2014, 09:16 AM
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Default For those who fish in the National Forests

Fighting wildfires leaves little money to manage the forests, US Forest Service says
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Old 06-16-2014, 09:58 AM
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Default Re: For those who fish in the National Forests

Yikes, that's a hell of a read:

"Their state counterpart, Cal Fire, has responded to 900 wildfires that have torched 2,400 acres from Jan. 1 through April 5, up from 340 fires and 1,000 acres burned in the same time period in an average year.

The USFS must do everything it can to protect life and property, even if that means raiding accounts set aside for other projects such as firefighting infrastructure and wildlife management, Harbour said."

California may be a big State (not to mention dry as a bone) but 900 wild fires in three months????? Only 'good thing,' if there is such a thing, is the fires are being quickly reported and the fire crews are jumping on them.

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Old 06-16-2014, 10:47 AM
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Default Re: For those who fish in the National Forests

With the ever increasing forest fires, I can see where they need additional funding.
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Old 06-16-2014, 04:23 PM
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Default Re: For those who fish in the National Forests

Part of the problem in So Cal is simply the proximity to large urban populations. A lot of these fires aren't simply started by lightning strikes. The last 2 big forest fires were started by an overloaded extension cord (Mountain Center, near Idyllwild) and by homeless guys smoking pot (Glendora). That's in addition to the usual arson suspects (the 2010 Station Fire, etc.).

In terms of sheer number of visitors, Angeles National Forest is a lot less like Central Idaho and a lot more like Central Park, but I don't think the folks in D.C. fund its protection and support much differently than the other forests in unpopulated areas.

The transfer of funds for firefighting has an immediate impact on patrolling and protecting the fishing habitats. The rangers have very little if any time to actually be in the forest. They told me in March that they barely had enough staff to drive around to write up tickets for missing Adventure Passes. I wanted to criticize them for spending all their time in parking lots, but when funds are diverted for fires, that's what's left to pay their salaries. It's like telling your local swimming pool lifeguard to go out to the parking lot to write tickets to fund his paycheck. Who is left to mind the pool?
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Old 06-16-2014, 08:20 PM
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Default Re: For those who fish in the National Forests

Ok, but a couple of decades ago USFS said that they would limit cutting and thinning because data showed that that was bad, but they would continue to thin areas around power lines and other sparky man-made things. However, over the last few years, that process diminished because of budget issues.

Here in NM we've had three major fires in fives years as a result of fallen power lines in unmanaged areas. Areas that should have been managed but weren't. So, where in that catch 22 am I supposed to believe there's an answer? They stopped thinning, fires happened, that sapped the budget so they can't thin where they are supposed to.

They are trying to deal with an issue that they created themselves and droughts all over the place are magnifying the problem.

It's not like someone can tell them, well, you've showed you suck so we're not giving you any more money. Oh wait, but no one else can do the job.

I know, I know, I don't have an answer. Blech!

*sigh*

Add to that the fact that I have to put out a couple of abandoned fire pits each year and I just don't see that I'm going to have a forest to fish in a few years.
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