L.A. county has done tremendous work! In all the canyons, which all have homes.
They have the home owners cut down trees too close to the home, get rid of
vegetation next to the homes, don't remember how away you have to plant
things. Require every homeowner with a pool to have a pump for their property!
They have made tremendous progress! Are you suppose to remove every 200 yr. old
tree up a canyon? You are missing the whole point Mitt! Which has always been
this is the first time i have agreed with Romney on anything.
Ultimately, if we refuse to mitigate climate change, the fire situation is only
going to get worse. In fact, it's going to get worse before it gets better,
because it takes time, political will, and a lot of money to make the changes
necessary. And a lot of work. More grazing, more thinning (not
clear-cutting) more clearing of the forest floors, while leaving enough habitat
for the wild creatures, less home building for now in remote fire-prone areas
.These changes aren't just so we can have pretty forests. Our
watersheds must be protected, we need rain and snow every year The forests help
cool and oxygenate our world and make it more livable. We need lumber to build
with.Where to get the money? I suggest we employ our military. Let's
put the Army and National Guard to work on clearing the forests of the dead
wood. Not all is usable for construction as logs, but could become MDF and other
products.Let private citizens remove deadwood. Better to spend money
to prevent fires than spend billions fighting them. And losing trillions in
burned homes and valuable timber and habitat.Write your senators, your
president, your legislators. Vote for people who care about the earth.
There are some who point to anthropogenic global warming (agw) as a cause of
forest fires. Rather than debating whether or not agw is real, let's
examine the merits of "doing something" about agw as a solution for
forest fires. Point #1 - Imagine for a minute that we immediately
returned to pre 1950s levels of carbon dioxide production (the 1950s are the
earliest that humans could be blamed for global warming). Even if we did that,
there would still be a problem with forest fires. Most of the largest fires in
recorded history predate the 1950s. Point#2 - Agw is a highly
politically charged issue. Non-believers would bring up point #1 and accuse the
believers of using forest fires to advance a political agenda. We would get
political gridlock and accomplish no actual results. Point#3 -
Clearing out forest fire fuels will reduce the number and severity of forest
fires, which will reduce the amount of carbon dioxide released into the
atmosphere. This accomplishes one of the goals of agw believers and the
non-believers will not care.Nobody wants to see the forests burn. So
let's all work together on common sense solutions that (most) everyone can
I would recommend a meta analysis done at Northern Arizona University to anyone
interested in understanding the effect of thinning on the severity of wildfires.
(I'm unable to post a link, but you can Google "nau.edu
effects-of-thinning" This website references eighteen studies on the
subject, including the study cited by Frozen Fractals, of the Hayman fire in
Colorado. The overwhelming consensus of these studies, according to this website
is "Thinning of both canopy and ladder fuels is generally needed to reduce
crown fire potential." Isn't this also common sense?
I thought god was going to "confirm" the Earth's flood baptism with
fire in the last days. Looks like he's started the confirmation process.
First off, global warming and effect on forests is hogwash! I am old enough to
have witnessed and or heard of just as severe forest fire destruction today!
Difference is, the population wasn't as great, nor, as much pressure on the
forest s for whatever reasons as there are today! Population growth could be
considered a problem as more and more people want to get away from the crushing
crowds and move to the hills! Demands for forest by products, for an
increasing population and need for those products, does not help the
preservation of our forests either! Whining against the government's
so called inaction, especially against the republicans, the current
administration, solves nothing either, except make certain fell better by
venting one's spleen!Perhaps a solution to the ever growing problem
of forest fires, would be to give current federal government control to the
states! Yep, give the all the forests within any given state's border s
to do with as they please! Forest harvesting, recreation, sight seeing,
climate change, anything we currently use the forests for, how we take care of
forests now, the states to handle it!
Very disappointed that Governor Romney did not have the courage to name climate
change as a significant contributor to the increase in number and severity of
forest fires. He knows better.
I would hope a Romney would advocate for rolling back the 50% cuts on USFS and
BLM operating budgets. I also hope for a reassessment of funding for the
military in the face of longer and hotter fire seasons. We need more bombers
and helicopters carrying fire suppressants as the fleet is aging. Romney
should also be key in implementing a universal health care program to handle the
increased health problems arising from these fires. We have spent the summer
inside because of the smoke from these fires. I cannot imagine what it is
like for those directly in line of fire and the hazardous air quality they are
I cringe when I see headlines like these and then read the article and statement
from the candidate. Many of the comments are equally cringeworthy. I spent
seven summers of my life on a Forest Service fire crew. The most destructive
fires I worked on were in heavily managed (read "logged") forests. Can
fires be chalked up to government failures? Certainly, but not in the sense
that Mr. Romney and many on the right would like to believe. Sorry about that.
No amount of conservative dogma about cutting down trees is going to have an
impact unless there is also acknowledgement of the reality of 1) climate change
and the need to address and reverse it, 2) the contributory effect of population
growth and development patterns in the west, 3) the ongoing disinvestment in
natural resource and fire management by the GOP controlled Congress, and 4) an
embrace of scientific fire management. Notice, I said management, not
suppression. 150 years of very successful fire suppression, combined with
climate change, population growth, and disinvestment got us where we are today.
Relaxing environmental laws isn't going to change that.
This is a perfect example of why global warming denying is costly.Republicans don’t believe in climate change, so they won’t put
money in fighting climate change, so wild fires caused by climate change are
larger than they should be because the government is unprepared.Now
republicans are blaming government for not being prepared for a situation
Republicans continue to deny is real.Classic!
After reading through the comments, it looks like everyone would be against
clear-cutting operations that indiscriminately cut down healthy living trees
along with the dead. So let's take that off the table. On the other hand,
it seems most are in favor of letting individuals or low impact commercial
operations remove deadwood. So let's with something most everyone can agree
on. Currently the forest service charges $15 - 75 for wood cutting
permits. Arguably it's not a lot. But there is a hassle factor in getting
it. *Step one: eliminate the permit requirement for gathering dead
wood. Actively encourage people to do it. Also, the forest service
in Utah currently gives out 9 different wilderness pins and badges for visiting
each of the 9 areas. You send in a photo, agree to leave no trace, etc., to get
the award. **Step two: offer healthy forest pins and badges to
people who send in photos clearing dead wood from areas with explosive amounts
of fuel. The national forests belong to us all. Given encouragement,
people will gladly do their part in removing forest fire fuel. We mainly need
the Forest Service to remove the barriers and offer a little encouragement.
Counties and city governments need to stop issuing building permits for houses
that are located in areas prone to wild fires. What do you expect if houses are
built in areas prone to wild fires. Developers an real estate interests have
too much influence as to where development occurs.
Forget the government. Let logging companies harvest the dead timber and we can
make some tax money off of it. When the government is over 20 Trillion in
debt, you have to be thinking about how to MAKE money, not how to spend it.
How about we send someone to a heavily forested country to observe and learn
proper forest management? Sweden does a great job thinning forests. Yes,
Sweden has more moisture than Utah, but I rarely hear of major fire problems in
As one who has become disgusted with the partisan politics and lies of the
Republican Party, I must confess that on this issue, I agree with Mitt. I agree
with Mitt because he sounds so much like a "librul", "we need the
gubmint to save us" on this one.So much for "principled"
leadership in the Republican Party!
What needs to change are the laws and regulations which prohibit the thinning of
forests, the cleaning of underbrush and the cleaning of rivers by both private
and public entities. We should be thinning our forests and preventing wild
fires. It happened for years and we had a robust timber industry in the United
States. We have lost much of that. Those who start fires should also
be held accountable. Why are we not naming the individual who started Dollar
Ridge? Government officials know who it is. Rumor has it that he is a friend of
the Governor and was burning some weeds and trash which got away from him. It is
time to come forward and show some accountability, whoever you are. Change the laws, change the culture, save the forests and private property.
Romney is missing the boat here, this issue is much larger than they're
making it out to be. Invasive grasses and fire suppression policies have
combined to create a tinderbox. When we see fires now they explode rapidly and
we work like crazy to put them out. Let them burn, protect structures, and then
provide budget to immediately follow the fire with native seeding processes.
We had a small problem with “The bark Beatle”. Environmentalists
fought and fought to stop spraying and won! So now, virtually every pine tree,
of that species is gone, IN THE WORLD!As far as clearing of the trees. It
would cost nothing, infact The logging companies would harvest the trees and
make the roads at the same time. That is done by loggers regularly.By
clearing areas in this fashion, it leaves all of the rest of the ground cover in
place, therefore much less if any flooding.There is much that can be done,
at not cost to anyone.But I guess if you are an angry Democrat you have a
crystal ball that gives you power to point out the idiocy of us
“anti-feral-gumming” people, to not be able to come up with any
valuable Thought.I was so angry when Mitt Romney lost to President Obama,
but I got over it in a few days. Not everything that a Republican says, is not
Pine beetle infestation - exacerbated by climate changeExtreme drought -
climate changeHottest summers on record -climate changePossibly worst fire season ever - Government bureaucrats?Didn't we elect the current congress and presidential administration to
ignore climate change? Which way do we want it?
Mitt is already supporting and soothing the Donald's ego to get power in DC
for his billionaire buddies. Watch him remain silent or support the Donald when
I wonder if Romney knows that controlled burns an easily get out of control?It happens more than you might think.Just this summer in
Florida, 36 homes were destroyed when a "controlled burn" became
uncontrollable.With as hot and windy as it is now, controlled burns
are not a wise choice. Hot ashes can fly quite a ways.
It was entertaining to read Romney's comments and those of the locals.
There is a whole lot of flip-flopping going on here.Romney wants the
Feds to pay for sweeping the forests clean, which means higher taxes, a
Republican thing. Romney hooked the locals that are
"anti-feral-gummint" people that believe the private sector can do a
better job. Now those people and Romney are saying the Federal gummint can do a
better job. Which is it guys?Romney never says how he is going to
pay the $billions to create all these new roads, clearcutting, cleaning the
forest floors or thinning smaller trees.Republicans come up with
great ideas on how to spend more money, but never a single idea on how to pay
for their fantasies. Let's just use the Federal credit card.
After all, Dick Cheney said deficits don't matter.
Perhaps Mitt should call for more funding of the agencies that deal with these
issues, including hiring more scientists. This would include the EPA. No more
tax cuts. Let's properly fund our government. Mitt won't do that
because he is a reed in the wind and will cave to the whims of the GOP in
To Mike Twain, from Colorado, How could you possibly disagree with Romney on
this issue? Have you not noticed the horrible forest fires of a couple of years
ago in the Fort Wayne, Colorado area, that burned for weeks because of how much
dead wood there was? Have you not noticed how many forest fires there are right
now in Colorado? And the best you can do is criticize a candidate in Utah for
wanting to do something to help the situation? You need to get out more, and
away from your computer long enough to see that Mitt Romney is absolutely
correct on this issue.
year after year of budget cuts do make an impact on government organizations
like the national park service and the national forest service. they have less
and less money to do more and more with. then they have some politician
appointed yahoo deciding how to spend the money, usually in some visual way with
a fancy park museum or some such that isn't needed. you also have many
politicians trying ensure that their relatives or the adult children of friends
are hired as part of the annual summer hire by these organizations, instead of
trained personnel.its easy for politicians like romney to blame the
bureaucrats, even though those same bureaucrats are fighting a losing battle
because of budget cuts initiated by the politicians. lot of the fires also
burn in areas that are incredibly hard to access (yellowstone and yosemite
fires). there could definitely be more done to eliminate some of the dead fuel
in some areas, but many of the remote areas that is difficult to do. there is
no easy solution, but any solution would require dramatically increasing
available money during the fire season, and no one wants to discuss that.
"Graze it, log it or watch it burn."And please point out in the
Constitution where the Government is supposed to control wild fires.Really? Are they going to use super powers I am not aware of?Don't
we have BLM agencies to manage the land? Oh. Not such a good example there. States need to control state land. That's Constitutional. I thought
maybe Mr. Romney had found time since '08 for his lawyers to go over the
Constitution with him. Maybe this year.
After listening to forestry experts on NPT yesterday. The trees that need to be
cut are NOT what the loggers want. They want the giant trees not the small thin
ones which are causing the problems. So the government needs to pay people
because the lumber companies don't want the others. The government tried to
get a separate bill through to handle this last year and it didn't pass.
Yep lets to log all the beautiful redwood giants in Yosemite and along the
coast. Trump said nothing about helping the fire personal. Just bashed something
he doesn't understand. They have giant fire breaks cut into the forests.
But it takes money which has been stripped from the budget to keep it
maintained. So does Romney want all the old forest cut down too. There is only
1 percent left.
If Mitt wants my vote then he needs to get rid of aerial fireworks which started
12 fires in Orem this past July each of them near an acre. At least California
did the obvious thing and banned fireworks. What about it Mitt, will you get
rid of the Aerial Fireworks?
I think we should do what the forestry scientists. Do the scientists say
we should do? Do they think we should do more prescribed burns? Fine.Do they say we should let people take more of the bark beetle dead wood out?
Fine.Do they say that we should let nature take its course and let the
fires burn? Fine. But I can guarantee that they dont believe that
crisscrossing our national forests with roads so companies can clear cut our
forests is a good idea. And much like they pretend to be
'constitutional scholars' and trump pretends to be presidential, I
think that many posters are having fun pretending they are forestry scientists.
You are not*. *Unless you actually are.
Mitt's gone off the deep end with the "The Donald" and Mike Noel.
Let's oversimplify forest management and blame it all on the feds. I doubt
if there is currently a National Forest in Utah that doesn't encourage fuel
wood cutting, which won't make a dent in the fuel loading on NF's.
And when it is cut, where are they going to burn it for firewood, the Wasatch
Front in winter? That ought to help the miserable air quality. As for logging,
let's build millions of dollars worth of roads with the taxpayers money, to
get a pitiful amount of defect laden crap out of the mountains, that won't
begin to pay for the road construction alone. Mitt must be mistaking Utah for
Northern Idaho. Most of what burns in Utah is Pinyon-Juniper anyway, with
virtually no commercial value, except for fuelwood (see above). Also, the
biggest threat to grazing in Utah, like Colorado, is existing ranches (base
property for the grazing permits) being sold and sub-divided for housing, hence
no more ranches. I'll bet if you look at NF grazing allotments outside the
Wasatch Front, they probably permit as many AUM's as they did 20 - 30 years
You tell 'em Mitt! Ignore that we're in an unprecedented drought.
Ignore climate change. Just preach about how if we'd just cut all the
trees down there'd be none left to burn.
But---but--trump said just the opposite...I'm confused.
Utejb - Salt Lake City, UTAug. 8, 2018 6:45 a.m.As I recall, the
terrible Yellowstone fire about 25 years ago was a result of a
“controlled” burn gone out of control. People were furious at
“the government ”. I’m not sure that Romney’s right on
this one...========No, none of the Yellowstone fires
started as controlled burns. One was chainsaw, others were lightning, and some
causes were never determined. But none resulted from using fire as a
Utejb: Actually, the Yellowstone fire was NOT a controlled burn. It started as
a lightening strike. However; NPS decided to experiment, letting the original
fire go as a "natural-burn;" figuring it would clear nearby
deadwood...and then, burn itself out. When that didn't happen, NPS then
made a second affirmative decision to let continue "naturally," as there
weren't any structures in the expected path of the fire. The fire exited
the park onto private property, the situation was an absolute mess.A LOT of people were unhappy with both the government's decisions and the
outcome that burned a large swath through the park and surrounding private
property. The Yellowstone fire was never a controlled burn. It was a series of
bad [government] decisions. Ironically, NPS is STILL attempting to
put a "happy face" on the mess. They have links on both
Yellowstone's & the NPS webpages discussing how much we learned from
the 1988 fire--that "fire is part of nature's natural cycle or
renewal." In other words NPS says they made the right choice.This is one of the few subjects Mitt & I agree on.
So we are to blame agencies that have not been allotted enough money by Congress
to properly manage forests and who have been hampered by Congressionally
mandated micromanaging that forced the agencies to bypass scientifically based
environmental needs?Got it.Seems kinda funny -- in an
unfunny way -- how Congress and candidates for Congress manage to hide their own
responsibility for our problems by blaming those "awful bureaucrats."
A drive up U150 through the Uintas show that more than 50% of the trees are dead
from the pine beetle infestation. I worry that the Uintas could go up like a
match right now and we could have another "Yellowstone" on our hands. I
and many others have purchased permits and harvested wood for years in the
Uintas. This really helps thin out the dead material. I can't do that
anymore because all the wood 100 yards from dirt roads is gone. If the forest
service would bulldoze more temporary roads through already dead forest and let
us get the wood out we could help reduce the fire danger. The damage of a few
temporary paths that would grow back is well justified to reduce the danger to
the whole forest. Let's help protect our forest and not let it burn like
We thin our gardens and take out the weeds, we mow our lawns. Sometimes coerced
by “the government” to do so. Proper management of OUR forests can
be achieved if we get involved. Government by the people, for the people, of the
people. Administrations swayed by special interest groups are an issue.I
do like the idea of a Smoky the Bear patch.Every summer camp, the Boy
Scouts are asked to help clean up dead and down trees. Maybe there needs
to be a study done as to whether forest fires are more damaging to the air
quality than a few hundred wood stoves/heaters.
Once again, Mr. Romney is spot-on. We the people complain about these horrible
fires; but, we the people must demand our government manage our natural
resources. Historical perspective can guild smart thinking and action to avoid
the destruction to our environment. Better house-cleaning; i.e.
forrest-cleaning will assist fire protection in the furture.
Romney does not say how he would pay for his ideas....what about this...every
year the western states spend millions fighting fires...if the fires are early
detected and properly prevented with the new technology Romney describes, those
millions are available. ssj.
One problem is tinder-dry grass and shrubs. A mixture of cattle and sheep and
even goats can be run in forest lands to somewhat minimize that problem. The
deer, elk and moose populations are not sufficient to control forest mast or the
undergrowth that can be so explosive during droughts. We have eliminated the
practice of grazing with by domestic livestock in some of our forests in the
effort to get back to pure nature. Perhaps we need to revisit grazing practices
and policies that could reduce the accumulations of mast levels that can and
have led to such nasty and difficult to extinguish range and forest fires. A
mixture of cattle and sheep is more effective that either species alone as they
tend to graze and browse on different plants.
As I recall, the terrible Yellowstone fire about 25 years ago was a result of a
“controlled” burn gone out of control. People were furious at
“the government ”. I’m not sure that Romney’s right on
Mr. Romney's comments are the conservative thinking on this. We need better
forest management to reduce the damage. Still fires are not worse this year.
For once, just once, I would a politician to say how they will pay for what they
propose. After the huge tax cuts for the wealthy, we are now facing annual
deficits of over a trillion dollars each and every year. It is sad that the
last president to balance the budget was him of the 'blue dress'. For the first time in my life, I will not vote for the Republican
nominee. The Republican Party has become the spend and borrow, spend and borrow
party. As a veteran, I would rather see defense spending cut as national
security is enhanced by improving our fiscal picture rather than adding more
ships that break down.If Romney wants to add another billion or two
to the budget for fighting fires, he needs to man up and say where the money
will come from. He needs to propose real solutions that help fight increasing
I agree with Romney. The environment is ruined (look at our skies) because of
misguided policies. The money spent on having clean, healthy forests, would be
offset by spending less on fighting fires. Also clean forests prevents beetle
infestation which is much more destructive than fires.
Funny so many want to attack his wise comments on this issue. Yes thinning does
reduce the severity of wildfires. Look at last year's Brian head fire, it
burned for three days on State and private lands that had been responsibly
cleared, and after those three days it had burned a total of 600 acres. Then it
reached NFS lands that had not been cleared in decades and it exploded by 10,000
acres over night and continued to grow rapidly.And whatever the
cause of the increase in fires, be it mismanagement, drought, or climate change,
where is he wrong in proposing more resources and quicker federal response
instead of leaving it at first to small understaffed rural volunteer fire
Departments that often have little more than a grass truck as specialized
equipment for such fires.Yes he is a politician, and yes what
he's proposing will cost more money, and he fails to identify how it should
be paid. But quicker responses by federal resources may prevent more fires from
becoming these massive fires that consume far more resources to fight.Don't attack the idea just because of who proposed it, or because it
might cost money. His points are valid suggestions.
The important sentence in the article is the final one: "Romney does not say
in the essay how he would pay for his proposals." Logging
companies certainly don't want the hassle or expense of cleaning up the
dead wood or harvesting the small or diseased trees. They want the older, more
substantial lumber, and to clear cut for their convenience.The
Forest Service budget has been reduced to subsistence levels. Neither they nor
the Dept of Interior have the money to clean up the forests, since they must
pay to fight the fires each year.True to form, this problem has been
ignored for dozens of years. Instead of going away, it has grown into a
I’m not really in favor of the federal government getting more involved
than they already are. Droughts and forest fires are natural. However, as many have already correctly pointed out it makes no sense for the
government to prevent people from removing dead wood from the forest. And rather than charging people for permits, they should be thanked and given
a smoky the bear badge for their public service. It makes no sense
to watch it all go up in smoke in a giant conflagration while spending millions
to try to put it out when it could be safely burned in a fire place or campfire.
Fire season is 12 months long because of climate warming.
You are rite water rocket. how many of you have spent any time camping in any
forest? Having been sternly chastised for pushing over a tree that was long
since dead and told not to use any wood in the mountains for my cam,. That i
should have brought my own, I learned how really stupid some of our ideas of
forestry are. The government cannot prevent forest fires, but their policies
don't do much to mitigate them. Romney is a politician, this essay
should surprise me one. Politicians think government can and should have more
To every single comment posted here I vehemently disagree! Removing dead trees
does, in fact, help with fire prevention, as well as fire control. If you have
ever been around dead pine trees when they are set on fire, they are so
flammable that it is like gasoline was poured on them (and every bit as hot!).
Years ago the forest service actually did allow the removal of dead and deceased
trees. But the environmentalists argued that fire was nature's way of
taking care of the problem, therefore we shouldn't interfere with the
"natural processes" of nature. They further argued (perhaps correctly)
that fire ashes actually help enrich the soils. What they fail to recognize is
the flood potential, the loss of wildlife habitat, the watershed damage, and the
loss of forestry products in the form of lumber that are lost, not to mention
the pollution in the atmosphere that they are so determined to blame on us.
Mitt Romney is not saying that we can prevent all forest fires, but we can
mitigate them to some degree.
Let's just have the government fix everything.It's comical
to me how these guys go back and forth depending no the issue and time of day.
No, the federal govt should not manage OUR lands. Yes, they should be
responsible for fixing any problems that come up.Which is it, guys?
How do Mr. Romney's comments disrespect fallen firefighters?
Some reasons for forest fires:* Forests need to be thinned out and
dead wood cleared. Government regulations has restricted logging and picking up
dead wood for fireplaces.* Natural occurring lightning.* People purposely setting fires. Sometimes creating good paying employment
to fight them and other times because of mental illness.
Studies have actually shown that thinning a forest doesn't really do all
that much to slow fire spread and even results in more trees burned, like in one
2003 study looking at the 2002 Hayman fire in Colorado where as a result of the
fire the lost 50% of trees in the unthinned forest but 90% in the thinned forest
because it burned hotter thanks to the layer of debris from the thinning and all
the grasses/shrubs. The fire even moved faster in the thinned area. In that study and others you need prescribed burns to reduce problems, but of
course the problem with those is that you can't really do them near
structures and well... sometimes they get out of control.
How does government prevent wildfires?
Is Mr. Romney taking a page from the presidential playbook here: change the
subject and blame the government? Perhaps. A closer look at his reasonable
essay reveals that he wisely admits to having not a great deal of expertise on
the subject of wildfires. Yes, it would be good if people could find common
ground on this subject. But first it's necessary to define the problem.
Half of wildfires are human caused. Is the government to blame for this? When
wildfires start on private land, as the Brian Head fire did, is the government
to blame? Has the government caused the spread of bark beetles, decreased
snowpack or global warming? Again, the answer is clearly no. Even if we
accept the premise that "the government" can do a better job of managing
our forests, it's a simplistic cop-out to blame it for all these disasters.
What is actually "unarguable" is that the problem is way more complex
than simply pointing a finger at Uncle Sam.
This is a huge disrespect of fallen wild lands firefighters.
Where do you stand on climate change and the science that finds we will be
leaving a burning, dried planet for future generations? Listen to the scientist
instead of the political pundits.