It’s Raining Ash in the Pacific Northwest & the Reason Why Is a Heartbreaking ‘Environy’

The Pacific Northwest’s fires don’t interest people for much the same reason that people in New York and D.C. don’t understand why Westerners like pick ups, SUVs and guns.

You’ll notice, however,  that those items have been front and center in the national debate for the last two decades, so you should probably listen up to what I’m about to tell you.

The conflagration enveloping forest land in Idaho, Washington, Oregon and points west would be a huge national story if the media told you the truth about them.

One complex of the Oregon fires is burning dangerously close to the jewel of the Columbia Gorge, the Multnomah Falls Lodge.

Multnomah Falls Lodge/Lynette Wyrick

But for going on three decades, the environmentalists who have been peddling the save-the-trees-owls-man-made-global-warming-cooling-a-mud-puddle-is-a-navigable-waterway  theories – the very people who tout “visiting the forest” in ads – have been setting the table for the devastation you see.

While photos like this one of downtown Portland, Oregon point up in heartbreaking detail the ash rains that haven’t been seen in these parts since the explosion of Mt. St. Helens in 1980, the photo also points up a big ‘environy,’  a word my old friend Jim Walker of Orbusmax, coined.

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The radical environmentalists who populate all of Oregon, Washington and the federal government’s highest echelons of government have worked tirelessly to destroy the logging and forest management industries. In fact, they’ve largely succeeded.

Former logging towns are ghost towns. Entire regions are on government welfare to make up for the private wealth the environmentalists destroyed.

But these so called environmentalists have destroyed much more.

Federal and state forests haven’t been properly managed because to do so violates the beliefs of the nuts like this who worships trees. Remember her?

Yes, logging companies in the past have clear cut and moved on with negative consequences. But good forest management practices no longer use this tactic because forest land that is privately managed considers forests what they are:  crops.

Because the Earth Firsters,  Earth Liberation Front and other domestic terrorist groups as well as their less radical allies in the Sierra Club have pressured government with their tree sitting, spiking and screaming, the forest land largely is not allowed to be salvage logged.

The radical environmentalists in government don’t allow the felled logs that occur naturally or after fires to be logged and sold. Put another way, environmentalists don’t want the garden weeded. Those ‘weeds,’ provide the dried out, diseased fuel that quickly burns.

Furthermore, Oregon doesn’t actually ‘fight’ fires anymore. Forests are largely allowed to burn up, though efforts are made to save homes … sometimes.

Large tanker planes that are used all the time in California wildfires are not used in Oregon because environmentalists don’t want whatever fire retardant to be put into the forests to pollute the streams.

And, as an alert reader pointed out, there’s the issue of “crowning,” in which fires quickly move from tree-to-tree in densely packed forests. Thinning the crop is a good thing, but the same people who think they invented community gardens and composting don’t consider forests in the same way. Maybe they’re too busy screaming at trees … or something.

You might not be convinced yet that these decisions are such a bad thing.

Ok, try this:

We are constantly told that the reason we have “man made global warming” is because there is too much CO2 in the atmosphere. Environmentalists contend, with good reason, that forests are wonderful ‘sinks’ in which CO2 is stored. That’s indisputable. You learned that in 6th grade science class.

But what happens when those forests catch fire helped along by all that dry underbrush and felled logs that were not allowed to be salvaged?

All of that CO2 is released into the air.

What happens to their man made global warming theories then? Their own forest policies argue against their “man made global warming” theories.

What happens with all that ash from the burned up wood? All of that ash is released into the air as pollution. The pollution that the trees were meant to clean up.

Where does that ash go? Into storm drains to pollute the streams. The same ones the environmentalists didn’t want the fire retardant in.

Falling leaves seem to be a bigger problem in  clogging storm drains than any fire retardant sprayed upstream over a forest fire would. But you don’t see environmentalists calling for deciduous trees to be banned. Weird, really.

In fact, the inescapable conclusion then is that forests need to be properly managed. Like the crops they are, forests need to be weeded and nourished and selectively harvested to mitigate the damage of forest fires.

Even this chick gets it:

Efforts must be made to “save the forests” by not letting them burn to ash, which pollutes the air.

Indeed, look at what the National Park Service considers the net gain of letting fires just burn, baby, burn:

Among the other benefits of prescribed burning are:

  • Insect pest control
  • Removal of exotic, or non-native, species that compete with native species for nutrients and other needs
  • Addition of nutrients for trees and other vegetation provided by ashes that remain after a fire
  • Removal of undergrowth, thereby allowing sunlight to reach the forest floor to encourage growth of native species
  • Encourage the growth of fire-dependent species

If it occurred to you while reading this short list of benefits looks an awful lot like managing forests, you win a lucite block emblazoned with “WINNER!!!” on it.

Environmentalists have failed at their forest ‘management.’

Their record speaks for itself.

The people who have been doing proper forest management for profit for decades – the ones who are left, I mean – likely have the best practices to lead the way.

It’s time to start listening to them again.

31 thoughts on “It’s Raining Ash in the Pacific Northwest & the Reason Why Is a Heartbreaking ‘Environy’

  1. Wonder how the earth managed for billions of years without logging? It seems impossible given your airtight assessment. It’s a slippery slope. More logging creates more demand. Trees are not corn. They clean our air, make our world beautiful, and are a natural part of our eco system. They are habitat for animals. None of this matters to you? A few logging jobs and throw that all away? I usually like your commentary but you’re dead wrong on this issue. It feels like muck raking to try to stir contraversy oraybe talk to an arborist before you use your platform to share an idea so dangerous.

    1. “none of this matters to you”? Where are those animals now? dead. “Dangerous idea” is managing forests? Who’s the one with the “slippery slope” ideas, me or you? We’ve tried it the radical environmentalist way and it has resulted in millions of acre feet of forest devastated. If managed forest had been allowed to proliferate I aver the forest fires would have been mitigated.

    2. Historical Archeology shows that almost the entirety of USA and Canada have burned twice in the last 12,000 years. Nature does balance the fuel load but I don’t think any of us want that to occur.

    3. Interesting that you want trees to clean the air but you have no problems watching thousands upon thousands of acres of trees burn away. You have no problem with the beetles killing those precious trees because they are starved for water since forests have become too dense. Check out the San Gabriel mountains and find out why there are no longer pine trees there. The same thing happened and the fire burned so hot it sterilized the soil and pine trees couldn’t grow. And while you’re at it, check out native Americans and how they took care of the forests way before logging. It just might enlighten you.

    4. There wasn’t environmental terrorist’s around billions of years ago setting fires. That’s a current phenomena. So your argument is invalid. Wake up.

    5. Just like he said, and you just did not get it. And your first sentence speaks loud.
      What did the earth do for the past Billions of years??
      It burned! It did not get suppressed! Logging is a close second with how they log today. No more clear cutting.
      So now we have what he is saying in the article. We have fires and they are super!!

      1. How do you fight fjres? With water, retardant and fire breaks. Clear cutting is a fire break. Due to lightning & boneheaded punks setting off fireworks we will always have forest fires, but with clear cut logging & the firebreaks they create, they would not be as large as they are. You have been breathing too much smoke, not from the fires, but from those ‘funny cigarettes’!

    6. You are making two assumptions here:

      1. That the forests are billions of years old and predate humanity (there is no evidence for such claims; humans were ALWAYS meant to be stewards).
      2. That trees are more important than people, and it’s okay, preferrable even, for people to burn or choke to death. If that’s going to be your attitude, lead by example.

    7. Funny the earth managed through the use of wildfire, with lightning starting fire and there would be slow burns that would thin the forest, burn the duff and litter (small branches and small dead undergrowth) ironically pines will only germinate once fire has burned over the cones. It is a natural progression because of ourselves as humans have caused that to stop in the last 100 plus years. So Tony he is not DEAD wrong in this article. Instead of trying to see any thing that might benefit the land, you say the author is dead wrong, that’s the typical liberal response when it is something they do not believe in. heaven forbid if science or facts prove that wrong.

    8. And … you made her point!

      What is wrong with you Tony Dreyfuss? Would using critical thinking skills really break your brain?

      If you want humans to disappear, because of your self hate, then just go ahead and disappear, but leave the rest of us out of your human/nature dysphoria.

      The adults need to deal with your childish and destructive ideals now.

    9. They don’t allow removing felled trees and dead brush……to prevent fires. That’s reidiculous. You remove brush from your property so there is no fuel for fires. How is the fact that 800,000 acres burned (so far) and air you can’t breathe that injuring and killing people a good thing . Nuts

    10. Actually no. Managing is best done by thinning. It’s like aerating your yard. Overgrowth is unhealthy for any plant material. And it does lead to natures way of control and renewing the soil.

    11. Couldnt disagree more.
      The reason we are in this mess is because of Eco extremism. Our forests are chuck full of beetle kill and dead fall they could have been logged the first year but weren’t because of the law suits. They are kindling for these fires to get going on and turn into the raging infernos they are. A young forest produces way more oxygen than an old one or a dead one. If you want to slow global warming down, log clean up the beetle kill and replant to get these forest a fresh start.

  2. Wildland firefighting is one of the hardest jobs on the planet. I know, I did this for seven years with BLM (Bureau of Land Management). It’s a war zone of the nth degree, and heat, smoke and sleepless nights and days goes on for weeks which reduces a firefighter to mush, taxing on one’s body, spirit and soul. At times, the constant thought is: Will I get back home by Halloween? Today, fire behavior is more erratic and unpredictable and soon, human resources will diminish as college students return back to school. One thing is for sure; a weather change from hot and dry to cooler and wetter conditions always shortens the fire season and raises the morale of firefighters. Things to do: Pray for rain, go outside and perform an Indian rain dance (long shot), help out as a volunteer (feasible), buy a fire line crew (20 usually) a meal or provide snacks or do whatever you can do to let them know you appreciate their sacrifice. They may even reward you as being an honorary firefighter on their team. The next time you see someone wearing green and yellow Nomex clothing, thank them for their bravery and courage as well as for defending our natural resources and homes. This will have a huge impact on them.

    1. John I like your suggestion to buy a fire crew lunch. We are still grieving in AZ over the firefighters who gave their lives at Yarnell Hill. It is dangerous and unpleasant work. Beyond the obvious risk is the damaging effect of smoke inhalation over an extended period. The least we can do is provide a little comfort to our firefighters.

    2. John, how does one provide snacks and meals to firefighters? The BLM and other federal and state agencies may disallow such gifts to public employees. Is there a fund for this?

  3. Sad thing is….none if you will know for sure you’re right. Your children or children’s children might know.. Trees take time to grow and be Forrest’s again. She is right about calif. Its a joke. National Forrest w/o trees. Sad! Don’t make this about red/ blue. Doesn’t help. Losing those trees is serious. Dont want to use them…no one will now. Not even the animals that use to live there.

  4. Its only western Washington and Oregon that are the problem (liberals west of Cascade Mtns) East of the Cascades (conservatives) still have common sense ….

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