Skip to comments.Federal Government Declines Private Assistance -- Again
Posted on 06/21/2002 8:39:16 PM PDT by brityank
Federal Government Declines Private Assistance
Stanley for U.S. Senate 2002
Published 06. 21. 02 at 7:22 Sierra Time
(DENVER CO -- 1:00 pm) Thursday, June 13, was not an ordinary day for Ron Largent. The Hayman blaze, on its way to becoming the largest wildfire in the history of Colorado, was burning out of control at Lake George, just 25 miles north of Ron's home in Cripple Creek. The U.S. Forest Service hadn't been able to contain it. Today Ron was going to fight the fire.
Ron Largent is the Operations Manager for Anglo Gold Mining in Cripple Creek, Colorado. Concerned about the fire's progress, his company had volunteered men and equipment to help cut a firebreak. The Pueblo office of the US Forest Service had indicated it could use three pieces of earthmoving machinery: two Caterpillar D10 bulldozers, and one D8. The 600-horsepower D10 has an 18' blade and is almost seven feet tall. It can uproot large trees without even breathing hard.
Anglo Gold had already arranged with Ames Construction of Denver to move the bulldozers to the base camp at Lake George. Special trailers for moving them had been driven to Colorado -- one from Utah, the other from Kansas. Anglo Gold and Ames Construction were splitting the $5,000 cost of transporting the dozers to Lake George.
The dozers pulled into Lake George on Thursday afternoon, accompanied by a bevy of heavy equipment operators from the mine who were ready to run the equipment 24 hours a day and cut a firebreak from Lake George to Divide, then over to Woodland Park. The men figured they could cut a 35 wide firebreak for 20 miles through the forest in about a week. And they were offering to do this at no cost to the government. They just wanted to help.
Incredibly, the U.S. Forest Service turned them down. Kim Martin, the Incident Commander for the Forest Service, told Ron "The equipment is too heavy. It will tear up the land."
Ron's a big-hearted guy. He still wanted to help. He expanded Anglo Gold's offer of assistance. Not only would they cut a 20-mile firebreak to help contain the fire at no charge to the Forest Service -- Anglo Gold would also commit to replant trees in the affected area once the fire was out. But Martin was having none of it.
On Friday, June 14, Ron Largent and his crew returned to Cripple Creek. A week later, theyre still seething. The fire remains uncontrolled on its southeastern flank. And the Forest Service is finally calling in bulldozers. Little ones, from the Army, in Fort Carson. Almost fifty miles away.
After recounting this story, Mr. Kent McNaughton, a resident of Crystola, said, "I'm a homeowner in the area threatened by this fire. The Forest Service calls it 'a monster.' I'm incensed that the Forest Service has decided to fight the fire with one hand tied behind their back. They're fighting a bear with a pea shooter. They needed a rifle; and when it was offered, they declined it."
When asked for his reaction, Rick Stanley, the Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate, was characteristically blunt. "Two years ago, when the fire started at Mesa Verde National Park, local volunteers showed up with bulldozers and water trucks.* They could have put the fire out in a matter of hours. But the National Park Service was unwilling to accept private assistance. 24,000 acres of beautiful forest land was incinerated before that fire burned itself out."
"Apparently the federal government doesn't want to let American citizens defend our nation against the threat of wildfire," Stanley continued.
"At the Hayman fire, Kim Martin was unwilling to accept the destruction of 90 acres** of forest by bulldozers. Apparently it makes more sense to let 130,000 acres of forest land burn to the ground, and to force thousands of innocent people to flee their homes, than to let hard working Americans take a hand in defending their property from natural disaster. Not!
"This unconstitutional government is not only denying our liberty -- it is also destroying our property. The federal government has no lawful authority to prevent civilian volunteers from assisting in this nation's defense. And yet they do it again, and again, and again.
"How long will America suffer under this unconstitutional government? When will the citizenry decide that enough is enough?"
* See articles by Janelle Holden in the Cortez Journal, July 29, 2000.
** A firebreak 35' wide and 20 miles long is 3.6 million sq. ft., or roughly 90 acres.
Kent McNaughton (719-686-0676) provided most of the facts in this story. He interviewed Ron Largent (719-689-4042) and Ames Construction (719-689-5531) to learn the details.
Rick Stanley is the Libertarian Party's candidate for U.S. Senate (Colorado) in this year's election. More information about Rick's campaign can be found on his web site.
© 2002 SierraTimes.com (unless otherwise noted)
On August 6, 2000, John McColgan, a fire behavior
analyst from Alaska, was analyzing the behavior of
the fire in the Bitterroot National Forest in
Montana, and had his digital camera along. He took
the attached striking photograph. Being on
salaried time at the time, he couldn't market the
picture privately, so he released it to the public
If you have any doubt at just how destructive the current policies that our government are using against us, this should open your eyes.
The Fire This Time
In December 1995, a storm hit the Six Rivers National Forest in northern California, tossing dead trees across 35,000 acres and creating dangerous fire conditions. For three years local U.S. Forest Service officials labored to clean it up, but they were blocked by environmental groups and federal policy. In 1999 the time bomb blew: A fire roared over the untreated land and 90,000 more acres.
Bear this anecdote in mind as you watch the 135,000-acre Hayman fire now roasting close to Denver. And bear it in mind the rest of this summer, in what could be the biggest marshmallow-toasting season in half a century. Because despite the Sierra Club spin, catastrophic fires like the Hayman are not inevitable, or good. They stem from bad forest management -- which found a happy home in the Clinton Administration.
I'll repeat what I said on an earlier thread:
After the fires are finally extinguished (by rain, most likely -- not by the thousands of firefighters digging trenches by hand), Congress needs to launch a top-to-bottom inquiry into the Forest Service.
I suspect that most here are so enamoured of the GOP and the few good, constitutional, members in it; that anything constructive that presents from outside the party is ignored. I just heard a blurb on the radio about this turnback along with the story of the firefighters who crashed on their way in.
So, how do we organize that? Isn't anybody interested?Now we find that even when we have the tools and the treasure, the US FS won't let anyone into 'their' turf.
I think the interest is there; the problem is we all have teaspoons -- 'they' have all the huge bucket-loaders.
I see damn little difference between the Compassionate Conservatives of the GOP and the Third Way of the DNC; and the abject failure of President Bush to clean out the DUffus operatives that are entrenched in his administration and bureaucracy shows how politically aligned both major parties are.
"We'd rather see it burn" added Martin
Freedom Is Worth Fighting For !!
Molon Labe !!
Curious, the federal government doesn't want to let American citizens defend our nation against the threat of terrorism, either.
The arrogance of the fedgov is exceeded only by it's incompetence.
All federal agencies have this same attitude. Remember after the Challenger disaster when Rockwell offered to build a replacement Orbiter at no cost to the taxpayer?
NASA turned them down.
"the federal government doesn't want to let American citizens"
Perhaps that completed the sentence?
If I may borrow the "tude" of the "loyal opposition," here ...
YOU ARE WRONG! To wit: The federal government's arrogance is exceeded by NOTHING!
YOU .... YOU ...
We now return you to our normally! progressive! support! of the forward movement!
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.