23 Jun 2008, 8:56am
Federal forest policy The 2008 Fire Season
by admin

Clover Fire Blows Up

The Clover WFU-not-a-WFU Fire blew up yesterday, has more than tripled in size, has crested the Sierras, and is threatening Hwy 395 north of Coso Junction.

All this on a day when much of California is on fire from dry lightning storms of last weekend. The strain on fire suppression capability is enormous, a true national state of emergency, and the Clover Fire has been burning for nearly a month while the USFS watched it like dumb oxen.

Map courtesy Bill Gabbert, Wildfire Today [here].

More from Wildfire Today:

As we reported yesterday, the Clover fire on the Sequoia National Forest in California, formerly a fire use fire, is now being suppressed. The problem is, it got up and ran yesterday…. big time.

I wonder if the bean counter regrets their decision to release some of the hot shot crews after working only 10 days so they would not have to pay overtime associated with mandatory days off with pay after working the normal 14 days on an assignment? They had planned to re-order the crews in a few days. Now with 911 new fires in the state all competing for resources, they will be lucky to get any orders filled.

The new policy of having U.S. Forest Service bean counters making strategic decisions like this could result in more Clover fires. Fires that actually cost much more than they would otherwise, while burning private land and putting citizens at a greater risk. This is the new “Accountable Cost Management” process. Who is going to be accountable for the Clover fire decisions?

I’ll tell you who ought to held accountable: Gail Kimbell and the Wildland Fire Leadership Council. They got in bed with radical enviro-arsonists and now the chickens have come home to roost. They just love to whoofoo. Gotta have their whoofoo. They think whoofoo is the best thing since sliced bread. They whoofoo with ZERO authority from Congress, completely outside the law, and with criminal impunity.

Maybe if we appointed actual foresters, who actually cared about forests to our local and national forestry leadership positions, instead of Shining Path Maoist insurgent wackbite crazy arsonist loonies, we might do a better job of protecting natural resources and rural communities.

Putting anti-American com-symp eco-terrorists in positions of power is the death knell for this country. People need to wake up and smell the coffee. Howdy Doody Che puppets at the wheel with Burn Baby Burn mentalities are not good for forests, our way of life, or our very lives, for that matter.

Those nutjobs want a revolution? Well, maybe they ought to get one. If something has to burn, better them than us.

Salmon River whoofoo from 2007, pic #1752. See comments below.

27 Jun 2008, 10:32am
by Heidi

Hi, I was looking for information on the Clover Fire and instead I stumbled onto this commentary. Do you really think all the name calling is going to accomplish anything positive? Please understand, I was harmed by a watch and wait which blew up several years ago but the above paragraphs have left me with an image of someone frothing at the mouth while loading semi-automatic weapons. I am very concerned about the writer and would strongly suggest that he or she get some counseling, perhaps some medication, and leave the discourse to those who are willing to be respectful and can provide substance rather than frenzied insults. You are doing more harm than good and I do believe you are mentally ill.

27 Jun 2008, 1:01pm
by Mike

Heidi, maybe you are right. The name calling does not seem to help. Maybe a nice fat lawsuit ought to be jammed in their inboxes. I’m considering that.

My literary excess (Mike’s vorpal pen) is designed to offend. Glad it worked.

There is no discourse. When did you see the issue of whoofoos debated? The issue has never been discussed in Congress. There is no legal guidance. There has been no public discussion. Has your local paper/radio/TV ever even mentioned whoofoos?

I don’t cotton to having my forests burned down. Maybe that makes me mentally ill. Try to deal with it, because I’m making it everybody’s problem, not just mine alone.

27 Jun 2008, 4:06pm
by Bob Z.


You may or may not be right about the state of Mike’s mental health and whether he may or may not need medication in order to adopt a more moderate tone. But you are wrong and Mike is right regarding the state of current “discourse” regarding these events. There is none.

Our politicians pay these problems lip service because they do not understand their cause and history. Or consequences. Having Arnold talk of Global Warming and Governor K attempt to discuss Wilderness legislation is proof of this concern, no matter how measured or respectful their words.

Our agency “scientists,” for the most part, should be embarrassed. “Consensus” and signed declarations are the tools of politicians, not scientists. These people are not resource managers and have no business telling others how to manage our resources. Yet they do; and the millions of acres of dead trees that have accumulated in the western US over the past 30 years are proof of their inabilities, no matter how civil their discourse or how “peer reviewed” their opinions.

The environmentalists that have climbed trees, dressed as owls, and chanted and danced to drumbeats while others have questioned their motives and sanity have somehow affected federal policies in a manner all out of proportion to their knowledge and experience. And they have hardly been “civil” in THEIR discourse! Where did they get the resources and political power to have so much influence over our lives and forests? And why aren’t people realizing the extent of their failure to “save old-growth” and “preserve habitat?” Who has benefited most by their histrionics: giant timberland owners or environmental lawyers? Both? Certainly not rural communities, workers, wildlife, homeowners, taxpayers, or forest recreationists.

In a perfect world it would be nice to have intelligent and reasoned discourse on these matters, but the world is not perfect and there is no reasoned discourse taking place. All hell is breaking loose, and has been doing so since Yellowstone and before. And it seems to be driving Mike mad, which you have noted.

Your image of frothing mouths and loaded weapons is interesting, but may be more a reflection of your own thoughts than Mike’s. And it sounds a lot like a “frenzied insult” in itself, as does the diagnosis of “mental illness” toward someone you have never met, and only read a few sentences of their writing.

What do you propose be done? Seriously. Name calling isn’t working. What does?

27 Jun 2008, 4:49pm
by Mike

Thanks, Bob, I think.

Froth I may at the mouth, but I have no loaded weapon except my flaming pen. Unlike the eco-terrorists who have blown up school buildings, sawmills, car dealerships, ranger stations, ski areas, and a friend of mine with a letter bomb. And for what? To promote megafires that destroy millions of acres of forests, burn communities, choke the air and streams with ash and soot, kill wildlife, uglify the scenery, cost billions to fight, and do a disservice to every human being in this country.

Sorry if it bugs me when government functionaries with deep political and financial ties to eco-terrorist organizations run rampant through my forests burning, burning, burning.

I’m ready to try another tack besides branding them for what they are. Any suggestions?

27 Jun 2008, 5:02pm
by Mike

Would a picture help? See above.

27 Jun 2008, 7:13pm
by backcut

Marvelous reply, Bob!

The forest management “deniers” somehow don’t see those many, many millions of dead trees and the smoke from fires over 1000 miles away. Yes, I am often armed with my trusty paintgun but rarely froth at the mouth (except when shooting massive megapixels).

The truth is, Mike, that they don’t want to talk about truth or science. Idealistic dogma-drama fills their heads with fantasyland ideas of rainforests across the American West.

Unless we try to force them to talk about these issues and reason with these folks, we’re just preaching to the choir. (Obviously, she wants to shoot the messenger, instead)

I just don’t know what the answer is when they refuse to even consider discussion.

27 Jun 2008, 8:11pm
by Bob Z.

I think Heidi’s suggestion of substantive and respectful discourse would be great, if only such an opportunity presented itself. But it hasn’t so far.

Her other idea of belligerent, frothing at the mouth madmen wielding automatic weapons is also pretty good, but difficult to fund and organize.

I’ve tried everything I know for several decades now, and remain at a loss. Maybe Internet communications and legitimate science really are the keys. Photographs and exposes of fraud, illegalities, and quackery may all add up to a positive effect some day. Or maybe not.

Probably a good time to consult Better Minds and Younger Bodies.

27 Jun 2008, 11:43pm
by Tallac

You’re way too kind with that photo. Wish our front and backyards looked that good after the last fire.

We could share some pix that reveal the conditions of our surrounding forests prior to, and after calamity. Not very nice either way, probably redundant, and too late to impress the masses.

The insane mindset which exists apparently couldn’t care less about filling the skies with smoke and ash, fouling streams and lakes, and destroying habitat. Yet, they still call it beneficial. Or natural. Year after year.

Some serious frothing is required from those that know what needs to be done in order to correct.

Because shooting pine cones with a good sling-shot at crapping tree-sitters will never work.

28 Jun 2008, 8:01am
by Mike

It’s not Heidi’s fault. She is in the learning mode, and will be joining our insurgency soon.

btw, the Clover whoofoo-not-a-whoofoo is now 15,000+ acres and has cost the taxpayers $5 mil to date. The homes and store in Kennedy Meadows are threatened. The store is a key backcountry supply center, well-known and appreciated by the through-hiking PCT crowd.

Speaking of which, the PCT is now closed through the South Sierra Wilderness. Trespassers will be violated with $5,000 fines and potential jail time.

30 Jun 2008, 10:55am
by Mike L.

The keywords are “Civil Rights Violation Lawsuit” There are a few who are getting ready to use that lawsuit vehicle against incompetent individuals who have “authority without accountability.” The Forest Circus wreaks with them. After a few of them, some retired, get hit with some court appearances and fines maybe, but only maybe, will they wake up. Fire mismanagement is only a small part of this agency looking for a mission.

5 Jul 2008, 5:14am
by John

I stop at Coso Junction all the time on my route. What’s a “whoofoo”?

5 Jul 2008, 6:24am
by Mike

WFU. Stands for wildland fire use. Govt. euphemism for Let It Burn fire.

10 Jul 2008, 4:41pm
by Candace

What is always missed in a discussion of the wilderness is that the forest was healthier when the select cut logging was allowed, and when a burn happens, letting the loggers in to clean up. What we had, prior to all of the fires, is a forest that had too much undergrowth and the big trees do need thinning to allow the young ones and sunlight to hit the ground. All sorts of illnesses have hit the forest and the trees are not in good shape. A managed forest is where it has to go… not pure wilderness without human intervention.

We share the air and the planet, and pollution, beetles, etc. do not know boundaries. Quit locking up land and let it be managed by the people that know how to do it, not the government agencies that do not have manpower or knowledge of local forests. Most executive orders are done in a box in D.C. without going to the actual area in question. We also should not have a deficit if we would allow the mining companies to work their legal claims.

What happened to “America” the land of opportunity? We have Stalinized our country. Private property is private. Let the miner’s do their thing. And, to all the tree huggers… as a former hugger, the new methods of extraction for most ores and fuels is done by companies who have a vested interest in maintain a strong stewardship to the land, and they want it to stay the way it is with as little disruption as possible. Let’s get back to America taking care of America.



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