Correcting the Record on Conservation Groups

Many factors play into fire behavior

By Keith Hammer and Arlene Montgomery

Once again, Dave Skinner gets it wrong in his efforts to promote logging and bash “the Greens.” In his 9/9/15 column, he claims the forest thinning around the Meadow Creek trailhead near Spotted Bear was “opposed all the way by Greens.”

Our conservation groups did not oppose forest thinning near the Spotted Bear Ranger Station, guest ranches and other human developments nearby, including the Stony

Mountain Communication site, Meadow Creek and Gorge Creek trailheads. We’ve also supported the thinning done around Essex and the village of Swan Lake, though it has taken the Forest Service eight years and it’s still not done around Swan Lake!

Forest Service research shows that it is the few hundred feet surrounding structures where thinning can help keep them from burning. It is the logging in the backcountry, away from campgrounds, trailheads and communities that remain contentious due to impacts worse than wildfire.

Many factors play into fire behavior including prolonged high temperatures, drought conditions, wind, and lightning. This year they all converged to create large fires.

Keith Hammer, chair
Swan View Coalition

Arlene Montgomery, program director
Friends of the Wild Swan

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