25 June 2002

Burning tree-huggers at the stake

I've been listening to all of the talk show hucksters and politicos blather on about how these wildfires are all the fault of the "wacko" environmentalists who've impeded US Forest Service fire prevention efforts and it has raised my ire -- at the boneheaded numbskull gibberish of the Arizona AM talkers and outrage at prattling politicans who are using natural disaster to propagandize and point fingers, playing the blame game instead of seeking an honest plan of resolution for the future. Over the weekend, KTAR Michael Hagerty waxed on and on in regards to "wacko environmentalists", yesterday KXAM John Dayl soliloquize on how he's chuckling over the environmentalists causing this predicament, and this morning I heard KFYI Barry Young continuously castigate some environmental group referenced in today's EJ Montini column. The problem with these clod-pated pontificators is that while they're full of mythical conjecture and speculative jingoism, they're short on factual evidence.

Take for instance, KFYI Barely Young's repeated references to the Southwest Forest Alliance, making light of their statement that there were "only two or three instances" of where Forest Service fire prevention efforts were challenged. What Young didn't mention was the meat of the column that listed these facts:

Last year, Sen. Larry Craig of Idaho asked the General Accounting Office to identify all of the Forest Service's fuel-reduction projects in the nation and tell him how many have been challenged. The report states that there were 1,671 such projects in fiscal year 2001. "Of these projects," the report reads, "20 (about 1 percent) had been appealed and none had been litigated." In other words, no lawsuits.

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