An open letter to the Nevada County board of supervisors
Norman A. Sauer
D. Keith Crummer, a retired U.S. Forest Service district ranger, has written “The Storrie Behind the Chips Fire,” which demonstrates convincingly that the unchecked brush fields in our national forests are an national disgrace. Moreover, the National Environmental Policy Act and the Equal Access to Justice Act often are utilized by “big environmentalists” to impede the Forest Service’s ability to responsibly reduce excessive and dangerous fuel loads, such as have been shown to exist in Tahoe National Forest.
However, such barriers do not impede you, the supervisors of our county who are responsible for our health, safety and welfare, from taking needed political action to correct the untenable threat of catastrophic wildfire in the Tahoe National Forest and Nevada County.
Ranger Crummer’s recount of the Chips and Storrie fires is a reminder of what occurred in the Apache Seagraves National Forest in Arizona and was told to you Feb. 26 by Doyel Shamley. High intensity conflagrations stemming from excessive fuel loads destroy everything, including regeneration.
This was again brought home to you by research ecologist Malcolm North of the Forest Service’s Sierra Nevada Research Center in the bio-fuels session spearheaded by Supervisor Lamphier March 26. Mr. North was clear that the Tahoe National Forest is a high intensity fire bomb ready to go off. A matter of when, not if.
The U.S. House of Representative’s Natural Resource Committee April 11 heard three bills to expedite treatments on national forest outbreaks (HR 818, HR 1354, HR 1442), and one bill to allow county governments to petition to manage a portion of the national forests (HR 1294). Hence, even the Feds recognize a need for action and not just talk.
While you members of the board might have a tendency to do nothing and justify inaction by rationalizing that high intensity wildfire is a U.S. Forest Service problem, you can be assured that a good majority of your constituents want you to take action and will back your efforts.
Please recall Supervisor Weston’s opening remark Feb. 26 to the effect that 75 percent of the residents of Nevada County are fearful of wildfires.
As our elected representatives, we place our trust in you to do our bidding, and that means to protect us from wildfires. Whatever it takes! Anything less would be perfidious. Be assured, we “the People” are willing to do whatever it takes to improve the safety of our county from wildfires. We urge you to resolve to take action and seek immediate remedies to eliminate or reduce the threat to our safety presented by the high intensity fire hazard that exists in the Tahoe National Forest before it is too late.
Norman A. Sauer lives in Nevada City
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User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
Today there was a fire at Idaho Maryland and Brunswick roads. Fortunately our amazing response team was able to put it out quickly and save our community.