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Sunday, July 30, 2006

Katherine Kersten's Korner

Today's kolumn is kinda about the fire up in the BWCA. I say "kinda" because it is short on useful facts and long on a conversation with State Representatives David Dill. I know: a Kersten kolumn that's short on facts? Shocking.

Wingnuttia level: 3 (Not enough information)

The headline (not Kersten's fault) reads "Federal law stands in way of reducing fire risk in BWCA". The only indication that this is indeed the truth is the sentence that "wilderness rules forbade" salvage logging after the blowdown in 1999. That's it. Aside from that short, unsourced sentence, there is nothing about federal law. Just some comments about how fears of lawsuits have stopped people from taking action.

So what are we supposed to do with this information? Are there any suggestions of improvements? Any specific language that needs to be tweaked? Any new rules needed, old ones repealed? You aren't going to get any of that from Kersten, just the same old government bashing. If this were an academic paper on the issue of how federal law is impacting the BWCA, she would fail for an utter lack of content.

Being unfamiliar with the law, I have little to add (and I'm not going to pretend that I do and write a kolumn about it). I generally think that forest fires, being necessary for the continued health of forests, should be allowed to burn naturally for the most part. I think that dragging away fuel in non-damaging ways is perfectly fine. And I also think that if you feel like living in the middle of a forest, then don't expect me to care much when your surrounding burst into flame, as they do from time to time.

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