You are here: home   Issues   Mojave Squeeze   What's wrong with this picture?
Topic: Politics & Policy     Department: Letters

What's wrong with this picture?

Document Actions

Firefighting consumes nearly half of the U.S. Forest Service's budget ("Stand down from Western wildfires," HCN, 7/22/13). Arguably, the bulk of this spending is necessitated by the presence of private structures in the wildland-urban interface. That these structures -- which include many second homes -- are often located in harm's way is a deliberate lifestyle choice. As the wildfire budget explodes to protect them, funds for food stamps and Social Security are slashed. And the Forest Service pleads poverty to the rest of its users, charging fees at trailheads, increasing campground fees, deferring maintenance, and closing facilities and services. Meanwhile, the Forest Service spends billions to protect private homes in the woods. We need to have a national dialogue about priorities, private property risk, and the expectations of government services.

Malcolm McMichael
Carbondale, Colorado

Email Newsletter

The West in your Inbox

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook! Follow us on Twitter! Follow our RSS feeds!
  1. The death of backpacking? | Younger people don’t seem interested in this out...
  2. A graceful gazelle becomes a pest | Inrroducing an African gazelle called the oryx for...
  3. The man behind a New Mexico county's fracking ban | Last year Mora became the first county in the nati...
  4. What's killing the Yukon's salmon? | An ecological mystery in Alaska has scientists and...
  5. Plains sense | Ten years after Frank and Deborah Popper first pro...
HCN Classifieds
Subscriber Alert
More from Politics & Policy
The Tea Party loses one
Reflections on the Wilderness Act at 50 The concept may need some rethinking, but it's still an important way to preserve some of our most treasured land.
Motorheads gone wild An off-roading conservationist navigates some gnarly landscape on the road to more protection for the Utah desert.
All Politics & Policy
 
© 2014 High Country News, all rights reserved. | privacy policy | terms of use | powered by Plone