So then, maybe it should stop?

Economist Ray Rasker spoke the obvious at University of Montana’s Conservation and Climate Change lecture series. He also talked a little politics. If there is no guarantee of the feeds throwing money to the wind to save houses along the national forest boundaries the counties might be a lot less willing to grant building permits there because the costs would fall on them.

Speaker: Rethink who pays costs of fighting fires to protect homes in woods. By Rob Chaney. Missoulian.

It would be nice to see this building reduced because of its impact on water quality, scenery, wildlife habitat. A lot of the nasty “remove or shot the deer, elk, bears, cougars, wolves” complaints come from people who live in the woods and their pooch gets got or their shrubbery eaten.

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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.

4 Responses to Federal firefighting promotes building in the wildland interface

  1. SBH CLAY says:

    Seems high time that not only the cost of fighting forest fires be borne by the county, but also that counties cease issuing permits for home building that have the effect of removing more wilderness from its rightful inhabitants: the wild life. Creatures of all kinds depend upon the forests and plains and pure water. Why is human life assumed to be so much MORE sacred and valuable than the lives of the rest of creation? Aren’t we designed to love and be just to ALL our neighbors, no matter what species? And don’t we hold ourselves hostage to selfishness when we can’t find within our hearts the decency to let our fellow-beings live in peace?

    • skyrim says:

      “Until we stop harming all living beings, we are still savages”
      Thomas Edison

    • jon says:

      Because humans are selfish and think they are superior to everything else on earth.

      • SBH CLAY says:

        Well, if we tell ourselves often enough that we are selfish, I guess we will end up acting it out.

        I try to remind myself often that all of us are actually made to be very good. We’ve let worldly influences creep into our thoughts to make us conclude otherwise, for sure.

        But I think eventually our native intelligence — perhaps combined with the suffering that comes from not acting intelligently — will prevail. When each of us individually realizes how much BETTER and FREER we feel by being kind and generous and just to all, it becomes easier to refuse the temptation to be selfish. That’s been my experience, anyway….


March 2011


‎"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