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Know the West

The Fire Next Time


It was with great interest that I read the June issue of HCN, especially the article about the Salmon-Challis National Forest (“The Fire Next Time”). We lived there for eight and a half years (’77 to ’85), when I worked as a range specialist for the Bureau of Land Management for four-plus years and then on the Salmon Ranger District for another four-plus years.

It’s amazing that now, 36 years later, the agencies, the users, the environmentalists and other interested parties are still often at odds with each other over the management of our natural resources. No one group is to blame for the recent disastrous wildfires or other environmental problems. All groups have a stake in the guilt. Compromise and cooperation are what it will take to solve the problems. Each group needs to put aside its own agenda and work with the other groups on what they have in common and what they can agree on. Natural resource management is not an exact science, like chemistry or physics. It really is an art to be able to manage our resources wisely. But it can be done.

Lamar B. Taylor
Buffalo, Wyoming