Did the Sierra Club block attempts to prevent the AZ fires?

My brother lives in Payson AZ. From his house, he can see plums of smoke from the almost 300,000 acre fire that is about to tourch Sho lo, Az. He and his wife are active members of the politics in his community since he is a pilot and keeps his plane at the Payson airport. The environmentalists and local home owners have been trying to close down the airport because many homes are built near it. But the active airport has been there for many years and the recently built homes were put there knowing an airport exists nearby. How rediculous is that?!?!?!

Anyway, he told me that in the past few years, the forest service in Arizona has attempted to do controlled burns to reduce ground cover in the forest. Additionally, they have attempted to remove dead wood in many of the areas now effected by the raging forest fire.

The Sierra club has blocked these efforts by taking the forest service to court. They didn't want the forest service to perform any man made effort to the forest.

Now that this area in flames, the local media is rightly blasting the Sierra club. When will this organization, the Sierra Club, be held accountable for these policies that in reality DO NOT help the environment? Wouldn't it make sense that since homes exist near this forest, and since it is not possible to let a fire revitalize the forest as nature has done forever, that the forest service should be allowed to keep the forest clear of dry timber and perform controlled burns when the conditions allow it?

Sorry, just had to vent!


[ June 24, 2002: Message edited by: Bryan ]

Makes sence to me! oldasdirt

Always enlightening reading your posts Bryan.

That put a new spin on something I had never thought about.

Sorry to hear that Bryan. But rightly so, yes, the Sierra Club should be held accountable by all means.

Drag them to court over this. Point to every case where a request to cause a controlled burn was blocked by the Sierra Club. Make the Sierra Club accountable for the costs of lost homes, possessions, insurance and everything else.

Let them be on the wrong side of the stick for a change.


As a native Arizonan and a rural resident, I am deeply saddened by what is occurring and the sickening reality of the irresponsible events which have led up to this devastation. Tens of thousands of people have been displaced from their homes and communities and are now left to sit and watch their towns burn. And this is completely aside from the long term loss of the huge forest areas which are being left behind the intense blaze as scorched earth.

True environmental concerns would not have allowed this to happen. The Forest Service has means to help protect and preserve our valuable public lands for the sake of both man and wildlife. It is time that we strike down the political and legal tactics which prevent them from doing their job.

The greenies would have us believe that this planet takes care of itself. It does not. The random events that occur in a lifeless universe could easily turn this planet into a cold, lifeless rock. It is the living things that constitute the forces of nature and we among the other species on this planet are the source of this planet's life force. Any other species would do all in it's power to preserve and improve its habitat and the health of its environment. As the intelligent species, we have obligations to ACT, not to restrain our involvement.

Hopefully, this will be enough of a wake up call and our future generations will not be subjugated into idly progressing toward their own extinction. We need to turn this situation around.

There are several reasons for these fires and you have blamed one of the many "green" groups that deserve partial credit for these disasters.

The green movement drove the timber industry out of the southwest years ago. Trees grow fairly slow there so the companies did not have the money to fight the battle and went to more productive areas. They are currently doing the same to places like Idaho where prominent companies like Boise-Cascade have shut down mills and are considering closing more. At least one district of the Boise NF has halted all timber activities because they cannot afford to fight the lawsuits. Without the timber companies who is going to thin the forest?

It is no coincedence that all of these fires are happening in ponderosa pine forests. These forests historically have frequent ground fires, not the stand destroying fires that are happening now. The forest Service has been mandated over the last 100 years to put out every little fire that starts, so forests that are supposed to have small harmless fires now have infernos because of the increased trees per acre and fuel buildup.

As for the forest land owners I pray for you. If you make it through this season find a forester to help you manage your land so that you and your property may survive the next fire. i have been managing my parent's property for five years to protect it, you should do the same.

At one time nature took care of itself but we need to realize that we have already impacted our resources and will till we are extinct. The only answer is management. Write your congressman and Senator and tell them the hands off wilderness approach has failed and we need to save our forests through proper forestry practices.

If we are responsible for the consequences of our actions, and subject to lawsuits to correct the injustice, then they should be as well.

I would urge everyone that lost their home or business, all local governments affected and anyone who in any way paid a price due to the effects of these fires to file individual or class-action lawsuits directly naming the Sierra Club and any other organization who sanctions this hands-off approach. Particularly those organizations that were willing to file lawsuits to ensure that it was carried out.

A little taste of their own medicine might be just what the doctor ordered! It is about time they were held accountable for their actions!


I'm guessing here, but most of the greenies are probably children of good fortune who went to schools that have distinct dress codes. They haven't really had to work for anything in their lives probably. Because of this, they are probably people like lawyers, and politicians who work for the Seirra Club for free and have nothing better to do but file law suits.

Everyone knows it costs money to file a suit and carry it through the system. You probably also know that money can keep suits in court for years even if the suit lack merit. How many examples have you seen of the little guy who loses because his lawyer wasn't from Yale or Harvard.

Unfortunately, justice has a price and usually the rich win. Until we start seeing big money fight against these organizations, the madness will continue.

"Do the world a favor, spike a greenie."


Interesting posts...

I want to give you some of the experiences we have down here in Australia.

For a start, Australia is one of the driest continents on earth. We also have one of the highest bushfire to acreage-of-forests ratios of any country on earth. The traditional owners of the land, the Aboriginals, had, over the past 40,000 years of their existence here, developed a way to manage the forests with controlled burns. They realised that plants and even animals relied on fires to regenerate the habitats. They would burn an area, and when they came back a year later, it had all ready started to regrow. There are many examples of trees and shrubs that scientists know need the heat of fire to help the seed pods crack open. These same plants have evolved to rely on the clear space and available sunlight from no competitors to get established. In other words, with a lot of other mature trees and shrubs around, they just don't germinate.

These land practices have worked well for all those years, until 200 years ago, Europeans settled Australia and decided that fires were not good. The bushfires ravaged hard won pastural lands, destroyed timber that was to be cut and milled, and it even took lives! Imagine, people living in the forests being so ravaged by nature. This would not do!

Anyway, the same mentality that introduced rabbits, foxes etc to the Australian mainland (which both went on to become major pests) also deemed that fires should be managed. Now Australia is a vast, sparsely populated place, and there is no way that we are ever going to manage fires like people want to be able to. I don't know if the news ever makes it over to the US, but Australia regularly has massive forest fires, often encroaching on the city fringes. People want to live in that semi rural environment, but when the fires ravage them, they are the first to yell for help and ask why wasn't anything done to prevent the fires.

The main reason for the severity of these fires is the amount of fuel (both living and on the forest floor) that is available to make these fires so severe. So, Why is this amount of fuel there?

Greenies have been adamant about getting the public locked out of many places, and therefore, in the first instance, no one, not even Rangers, know how bad the problem potentially is. Secondly, with no 4WD or other users to keep the tracks open, there are no trails that firefighting equipment can be driven down to get to the source of the fires to stop them spreading. Australia has to get water carrying helicopters bought in from the US when our fires get too bad.

What is the point of this? Basically, the do-gooders think they know how the forests should be managed. Like most things, mankind can not improve on nature's way of doing things, but we keep trying to throw resources and logic at the problem in the hope of finding a solution anyway.

Forests will and should be allowed to burn - to regenerate, to help to manage the fuel load in the forests. If so called greenies think that this is a bad idea, then they are the ones that need to be held accountable for their actions when fires get out of hand and threaten and destroy life and property that would otherwise have been spared if the fires were not so severe.

Greenies have no idea about managing fires and forests, and the public needs to know that. The problem is, that the forestry services usually get the blame, but often their hands have been tied by legislation bought about by green groups.

Don't blame the rangers directly, go to the source of the crazy ideas...

I feel sorry for you guys and the problems you are having with the fires. lets hope a few tree huggers get consumed in the blaze...


[ June 24, 2002: Message edited by: yamaha.dude ]

I have been watching this fire very closely as I am from Arizona as well. I agree with what everyone here has said and would like to add my short $.02

Someone needs to stop all of these lawsuits....they just need to be thrown out and not allowed to proceed through the system.

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