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LETTER: Management of public lands is needed 24/7

The Review-Journal’s Sept. 3 editorial argues that we need better management of wildfire. The key word is management.

In the past, we had stewards such as lumbermen, ranchers and sheep herders to help maintain our state and federal lands. These stewards were chased out by the science of ecology. Ecologists referenced past history of clear cutting and overgrazing and a lack of regulation. They screamed loud enough for the majority of U.S. citizens to listen. Hoping to preserve nature’s wild and pristine natural beauty, we’ve unintentionally ended up neglecting our lands to the point of catastrophic wildfires.

Management is needed 24/7 to protect our lands from the devastation that now effects our quality of life and health — even when we don’t live in these areas. The toll on humans and wildlife is staggering.

When speaking of management, we need quality people. What we don’t want are former Secretary of Interior Bruce Babbitt’s “burners” in control. We also don’t want John Q. Public thinking he is helping by setting his own small fires.

An expansion of the California Conservation Corps might be a first step.