“Log it, graze it, or watch it burn” has become a very popular, meaningful and timely catchphrase. It refers to applying common sense management to our forests, deserts and grasslands. But, before we can manage these resources, we must repair them and that in itself will be very costly.

In our forests, we need to stop the bug infestation by aerial application of pesticides (substitute organic remedies only if they are effective). The old and mostly false argument that we will destroy our birds of prey is not valid any longer (if it ever was). The overwhelming amount of dead trees and the accumulation of 75 years’ worth of understory need to be dealt with first.

The funds used for fire suppression need to be redirected toward this, along with other monies. In our deserts and grasslands, the invasive species—cheatgrass especially—have to be removed by similar tactics.  For example, a forest is not a static (nor pristine) environment; it is constantly growing, maturing, aging and finally dying. Fire is one of nature’s tools to keep this process healthy and viable. The same can be said for all our resources.                      

We are all vocalizing the fact that resource management has been misguided and politically motivated. There are many good environmentalists as well as good ranchers and timber people who are willing to work together to reclaim our resources. But, there are very left-wing groups that oppose any and all necessary steps to reclaim our resources. I get that they are motivated by the desire for power, prestige and profit (what group isn’t?). But they are subtly and with sinister intent, stealing from us all. I would label these people as “exclusivists” as they believe that they are the ones most qualified to be directing how resources are managed and allocated.

The logger, the rancher and the outfitter are almost gone, and next it will be the hunter, fisherman and finally the recreational user that will be pushed out. All of this by the exclusivist/environmentalist type who arrogantly assumes he is doing it for our own good! I was lucky to be a cowboy, honored to be friends with loggers, fisherman, hunters, hikers, botanists, biologists, wonderful city folks and just real people. I am blessed to have been over much of the West and I live in awe of God’s work! Log it, graze it, or watch it burn!!! — Stephen Scribner, Windy, WY

What do you think?

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