Letter to the Editor

Harvest trees - or God will do it

Monday, October 29, 2007

To the editor:California is burning. The raging inferno has reminded some of hell. Remember the platitude "The road to hell is paved with good intentions"? News flash: Wood and biomass burn. The more fuel, the bigger the fire. And big fires are more likely to burn out of control. The weather is obviously the primary culprit. However, the West Coast has been working toward this disaster for decades by de facto waging war on the timber industry. The environmental extremist Luddites have done everything in their power to prevent any brush from being cleared or any tree from being harvested. According to an Oct. 25 news report, where even limited (but sensible) woodland management was permitted over the environmentalists objections, not a single home nor life was lost.

There really is a time to reap, even for trees. If man does not harvest the timber, Mother Nature will, and she can be quite ruthless. Imagine trying to tell a farmer he cannot harvest his corn because some third party thinks it is pretty.

The consequences of the tree huggers are that the air quality is such that the smoke is visible from outer space, water quality is jeopardized by denuded hills and ash run-off.

To borrow a cliche, please don't miss the forest for the trees. But as for these hundreds of thousands of acres of scorched earth, go find a kangaroo rat or a spotted owl on them now.

ED MASTERS, Sikeston, Mo.