Forest Service Needs More People Patrolling, Not Forest Closures

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Editor:

The recent closing of the northern portion of the Tonto National Forest, among other areas, indicates that fire restrictions that were in place in the Tonto National Forest prior to this closure do not work. The most obvious reason that fire restrictions do not stop human-caused fires is that there are not enough personnel to enforce the restrictions. The Forest Services is only restricting the people who follow the rules and use common sense. These are not the people who start the fires. Therefore closure of the forest becomes necessary.

The question I have is why the homes and lives of the people in the northern part of the Tonto National Forest are more important than the homes and lives of the folks in Payson and the surrounding communities within the Tonto National Forest. The Forest Service is forcing a higher concentration of the irresponsible few into a smaller area of the forest. If closure of a portion of the Tonto National Forest is necessary then closure of the entire Tonto National Forest would appear to be prudent.

Ron Stettler, Oxbow Estates

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