I’m writing this letter in response to a couple of recent articles, one titled “Mission: Save Rim Country forests” in the Oct 28 issue and also “Controlled burns spew smoke in Rim Country,” Oct. 31 issue of the Payson Roundup.
First let me say that the meeting referred to was a very positive event with all parties contributing and happy to be there. No recrimination, just people wanting to be part of regaining control of our forests and how we use them. One of the big threats that we all need to come to a consensus on how to deal with is our use of the forests today, such as off-road vehicles making trails up hillsides creating erosion, people using our forests as their personal dumps, and special interest groups filing lawsuits every time the Forest Service wants to do something with the forests that they are tasked with.
Private land owners have plenty of unhealthy forests surrounding them.
Actually, historically the forests had already begun to shift from healthy to unhealthy prior to the forming of the Forest Service in 1905. Search “Wildland Fire Staff Ride — Dude” then click on “Tonto Fire History by Mark Kaib.” At some point in past history there may have been 50 to 100 trees per acre, but it’s doubtful when Anglo Americans first arrived.
The fuel breaks were made not only to protect the communities from wildfire, but also to protect the forests from fire coming out of the communities.
The Payson Ranger District is full of good people who are working hard to save our forests and communities.
I also suffer allergies, but I’m glad to see smoke drifting through our communities during the winter months from prescribed burns because fire is the only tool that will pull us out of the situation that we all inherited.
An uncontrolled wildfire during the summer months spews not only smoke, but danger. We can all make a difference if we stop digging up the past and look toward a better future.