If the BLM had only fought faster, if there were not all those regulations to protect the environment and native artifacts, then the huge Murphy range fire would have been quickly put out by nearby ranchers . . . that’s a key part of the tale they tell.

Rocky Barker’s blog today says that “On July 16, more than 1,500 lightning strikes were recorded on the Twin Falls District of the Bureau of Land Management in southern Idaho alone.” Nineteen fire starts were confirmed. The thinly stretched BLM actually put out 15 of the 19 confirmed starts (there were probably more because 40 were called in).

Rocky Barker’s blog: Firefighters overwhelmed by lightning [on Murphy Fire complex]. Idaho Statesman.

Regarding the resources available to fight these fires, it’s time folks start to look at Craig and Crapo’s actions in Congress to provide resources for firefighting. In addition, in recent years monies to fight fires have been stolen from the recreation, wildlife, and other segments of the public land agencies budgets.

About The Author

Ralph Maughan

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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‎"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