In Minnesota and Wisconsin, where there is an over-abundance of forest growth, forest management is done by clear cutting, select cutting and fire break roads. Control burning is very seldom used, and besides the control burning kills more trees than helps the situation.
My suggestion is: every quarter or half-mile cut and harvest (not burn) a three hundred-yard wide area of all the mature pine, dead pine and underbrush on a regular basis. Let the loggers benefit from this resource. This puts into use more of the big timber for commercial use. This harvest also allows for the young timber to come up, which benefits the wildlife for cover and food.
The taxpayers are now paying the big wages of the forestry department to do this job. Why not save us some tax money and use the prisoners that overrun the prison system to help in cutting.
Another suggestion: The governor should start up a program like the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), which was established by President Roosevelt during the Depression in the 1930s. This program was set up to harvest and replant the forests by using the general public, giving them a chance for employment.
The main problem is the environmentalists who say, "Don't touch the woods."
I say, "Take most of the dead trees and snags and leave a few for the woodpeckers. They don't need a whole forest." A burned up forest doesn't benefit us, environmentalists or the wildlife.
Our forest is like a farm, like a crop. It needs to be harvested every once in a while.
Don't abuse it, but use it or lose it.
Vicki Schaaf, Payson