Fires tax crews to the limit

Managers say no teams have all the people or equipment they need to battle wildfires in today’s hotter, drier world. By Rocky Barker. Idaho Statesman.

Rocky Barker has written a story that gives little support for the Craig/Crapo/Otter position that too many regulations on grazing and protection for the environmental have played a major role in this year’s very severe fire season.

Barker is also one of the first to mention the Bush policy of making agencies take fire-fighting costs from their other programs. My view is that if matters continue to deteriorate, the fact that so many national guard units are in Iraq will start to be an issue — they are off fighting in a hard-to-fathom civil war when their number priority in the past has been to protect the homeland.

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  1. d. Bailey Hill Avatar

    With only a fraction of our national guard left, this fire season could easily be one of the worst ever. The parched west is in dire straits.


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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Ralph Maughan