Pay to play: Building in disaster-prone areas should cost more. Salt Lake Tribune Editorial.

The editorial above is about Utah, but it uses California as the bad example (Utah is just as bad except that the population is smaller).

California’s current budget disaster is compounded by the costs of fighting the many fires — $13-million a day — with most of the high cost due to saving structures that never should have been built in wildlfire prone areas.

Why should others suffer monetarily because of obviously bad private decisions? In fact the bad decisions were made in part because the individuals and the developers understood that the costs of their decisions would not be borne by themselves alone.

Update (August 21) on the monetary effects of this on the Forest Service budget. Forest pinching pennies because of fire costs.  By Corey Hatch. Jackson Hole News and Guide.
One effect we have seen is no monitoring of grazing and the livestock operators are running amuck.

Still more (August 22)- Defending Homes from Wildfire Costs Montana Millions. By Matthew Frank. New West.

Tagged with:
 
avatar
About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

One Response to Building in disaster-prone areas should cost more

  1. The political advice I give to the Forest Service to make this problem go away real fast is to stop fighting forest fires. Say, “we’re plain out of money While we are obliged to deal with forest fires, we are obliged to do a lot of other things, and fires are no higher priority than many of the rest”

    Congress would deal with the problem within a week or two and Bush wouldn’t dare veto it.

Calendar

August 2008
S M T W T F S
« Jul   Sep »
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31  

Quote

‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

%d bloggers like this: