Common Sense from a Cattleman
I’ve always said “this really needs to burn.”
Jul 25, 2017
A cattleman friend sent us this note about the land around Mariposa's Detwiler fire:
For long over the past 20 years, whenever I’ve driven through Mariposa on highways 140 or 49, I’ve always said “this really needs to burn.” I believe it’s mostly private land, and grew so much brush as to be nearly worthless for cattle or wildlife.
For control burns, CalFire charges a little under $20 per acre for the permit the equivalent of 2 years earnings in the brush up there (or two years rental equivalent) to permit a burn; and you have to have it disked all around and fire equipment on hand and insurance. To cut down more than a handful of old trees, even dead ones, you need to have an expensive and time consuming timber harvest plan. If you’ve ever signed FSA’s form AD-1026, you have to get permission from them also, to remove trees. Bottom line, it isn’t practical to manage what should be managed as it was with fire for the 13,000 years before Europeans arrived and trumped common sense.
This fire probably cost the taxpayers $20 million, which is $285 / ac, and about $265 per acre more than the cost of permitting a fire through CalFire.
Congratulations, government, for making such an incredible mess of the ‘environment.'
And none of this is to mention that there will be amazingly greater quantities of YEAR ROUND runoff in future years, which also will be more natural than the lousy state that oak woodlands had evolved to under ‘government control.’
Cattleman and Certified California Naturalist
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