February 13, 2008

Fighting A Rear Guard Action, Weakly

With much fanfare, Bill Ritter assembled a coalition to fight bark beetles. It is too little, too late as Ritter, himself admitted:

Ritter said there is no way to stop the beetle infestation, which has destroyed more than 1.5 million acres of lodge pole pines over the past decade and could wipe them out in three to five years.

At no time did Bill Ritter acknowledge that the devestation was caused in large part by the obstinate refusal of the Wilderness Society and the Sierra Club to allow the forest service to be proactive. He also was careful not to admit that those two organizations and their bought and paid for Boulder Congressman, Mark Udall, will stand in the way of preparing fire breaks in the dead forests that would keep a fire from burning more than a few thousand acres.

When Mark Udall and Bill Ritter talk about fire breaks, they mean localized fire breaks near mountain towns, and nothing else.

Even if Mark Udall refuses to walk the walk, he can certainly talk the talk, and he managed to get a quote into the paper:

Rep. Mark Udall, D-Colo., said he would work with the task force to iron out any federal issues.

"We need to work together at the federal, state, local and private level to address the potential impacts of bark beetles, vegetative overgrowth, fire threats, tourist impacts, energy production and creating future healthy forest conditions on our forested landscapes," Udall said

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