Sunday May 19, 2013
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If you look at the map of the forest closings you'll see that they leave out almost everything south of Payson from 260 on down, and in particular all the wilderness areas where the fires have been getting started.
The areas immediately around Pine and Strawberry are closed, but only for a few miles, and south of Payson, almost all the way to Sunflower is one vast open area.
Should the forest service have done more?
I guess I am probably a little too conservative, because my short answer to your question is...Yes, absolutely!! Much, much more!!
All you have to do is watch the people who come up here to go camping. (Yes, I realize that these are generalizations and stereotypes, but they don't become that way without some basis in fact) They park in Wal-Mart, or Safeway to buy their groceries. They go into the stores as if they have never been in a store before. They are rude, inconsiderate and short-sighted. They put their beer, soda pop and ice in their coolers and leave the cartons and bags in the shopping cart for somebody else to clean up, or else they just leave them on the ground to fly away and be more litter in our town. They dump their ashtrays on the ground, and leave dirty diapers wherever they feel like. As they are coming up the hill, they toss their smoldering cigarette butts out their windows; because although they have no qualms about fouling their bodies with tar and nicotine, Heaven forbid they should have cigarette smoke and/or butts in their car.
While I recognize that the Rim Country is a popular vacation destination, and tourist dollars are what add a much needed boost to our economy, those same tourist dollars are in jeopardy of ruining this beautiful bit of Heaven on Earth where we live.
No, the forest closings do NOT go far enough, and YES!! the Forest Service should have done more.
"They dump their ashtrays on the ground, and leave dirty diapers wherever they feel like."
I have seen someone dump his ashtray in the Safeway or Walmart parking lot so often you would almost swear there's a sign around here somewhere that says to do it. I smoked from the time I was 14 to the time I was 33, and never--not once--did I ever empty an ashtray anywhere except in a trash can. I do not understand that mentality. And as for diapers. I talked to someone who helped clean up 87 between Payson and Pine, and he told me that they picked up more than 800 of them. Can you picture yourself driving down the road and just casually flinging a dirty diaper out a window? And if it's like that in one eight mile stretch of road, what is it like on longer stretches. Maybe we should put up large, basket shaped goals along the way, give 2 points for a basket, and mail prizes to the winners.
My image of people who like to go camping never included slobs until I came up here and was n the receiving end of their garbage, but since then I've listened and watched, and it is incredible how different people are from what they appear to be. i could see it if some meth druggie was doing this stuff, but it isn't. It is apparently nice people, and some of them are even weekenders who have a nice place up here. I just don't get it. How can people be like that?
"As they are coming up the hill, they toss their smoldering cigarette butts out their windows..."
Drive between Payson and Pine on any Tuesday as I do, and watch. Every weekend that goes by we are lucky that the forest isn't set on fire.
Look, I can almost understand laziness--the kind that tosses a dirty diaper along a highway--but I do not understand the mentality of someone who, knowing that there is a tremendous fire danger, tosses a cigarette out a car window.
What puzzles me about the closings is that they didn't close the "playgrounds" where the fires started. That would seem like a no-brainer.
Not to take the blame off the travelers but why doesn't the highway dept. keep the sides of the highway free of weeds, brush, and trees?
They try, Pat. I see them working all the time. There's a lot of highways. It all comes down to staying within the budget.
And, of course, here in Arizona, there's the matter of making sure that you give enough tax breaks to corporations and the wealthy so that they don't cry a lot.
After all, that money has got to trickle down to the peasants.
I am talking about next to the pavement. A lot of what is growing, so called grass was planted by the highway dept. and the workers are not allowed to cut it until it drys and goes to seed so there will be plenty the next year. Stops erosion.(:
Why do you think the pipes are running along the road. To water the plants. This is going south on 87 to Mesa and 188 to Roosevelt. Haven't been to Pine lately to see the sides of the highway.
Speaking of budgets. When there was a vote to have a lottery in Ariz. we were told it was to be for building highways in Arizona.... Now it funds anything someone can come up with a name for.
At mile marker 256 north bound on Hwy 87 is a pull out on the left for the Cracker Jack Mine rd. A favorite place for locals and weekenders for some time. It goes all the way to the Doll Baby Ranch with many place for camping and starting fires. " IT'S NOT CLOSED' It's south of 87. West of 87. IT's right behind my community and susceptible to wildfire by idiots. Why isn't IT closed?
Flowing springs is closed, East Verde Park is not, WHY?
Are there lots of Pine trees in that area? Seems thats mostly what they care about.
Go to the Ranger Station tomorrow and ask them. Remember the squeaky wheel gets the oil.
"Now it funds anything someone can come up with a name for."
"Why isn't IT closed?
Flowing springs is closed, East Verde Park is not, WHY?"
I'd like to hear the answers.
"Are there lots of Pine trees in that area? Seems thats mostly what they care about."
Could be. Could very well be.
"Go to the Ranger Station tomorrow and ask them. Remember the squeaky wheel gets the oil."
Not a bad idea.
No, not a lot of pine trees. Mostly scrub oak and pinion pine. Burns really hot and fast. The cracker jack rd. does however follow the East Verde River all the way to the Doll Baby ranch. The river helps with humidity but the grasses are dry as newspaper and burn even easier.
The area should be closed. Down south and west of Roosevelt Lake, where conditions are similar, they are closed. Over in Camp Verde, where conditions are similar, they are closed.
Why not Cracker Jack rd.?
Maybe the FS thinks the Willow fire about 6 or 8 yrs ago burned out enough that it is no danger.
Remember they were worried about the fire going up Pine Creek to Pine from the LF ranch west of the Doll Baby ranch.
On this subject, I have no expertise, so i'll go with the old saying (which I just made up): If you don't know nuttin, don't say nuttin.
Did you call the FS today?
Pat, No I didn't but members of my Fire district board did. Haven't heard the results. Long day at work.
I'm here. Just listening.
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