Thinking back to the music of our youth:
Where have all the forests gone? Long time passing. Where have all the forests gone? Long time ago. Where have all the forests gone? Mark Udall's allies burned them every one. When will leftys ever learn? When will leftys ever learn?
Last week we wrote on the direct responsibility of the environmentalist left for the large scale forest fire burns in the west. They are trying to permanently close off roads on government land to the public. Mark Udall is their political "tool" in this endeavor.
The recent Lake Tahoe fire has illustrated another kind of Carbon Footprint that the environmentalist left should consider. Two firefighters saved themselves by putting up their tents when the fire suddenly blossomed. We wonder if Boulder Liberal Mark Udall's Sierra Club allies would have been willing to take responsibility for their deaths, had they died.
Udall's amendment has already passed the house, meaning that many many Democrat Representatives are on record favoring it. That could be a powerful club for challengers to wield against those who left their common sense at the door and voted for it.
We note that the Schaffer vs Udall blog found that a Colorado Springs Gazette editorial went so far as to call the environmentalist left "green extremists." That makes our calling them the environmentalist left seem moderate. Keep in mind that the Gazette is part of the main stream media, which makes their assessments carry more weight than us bloggers.
That allows us to segway into the topic we wanted to discuss more thoroughly, roads.
One of the points that we made in our first carbon footprint essay, but did not stress, was that once a road is closed to traffic, it eventually becomes impassible. A trip through much of the mountain west illustrates this as some states build new two lane roads through the prairie and abandon the old, parallel, right of way, bridges, roadsigns and all.
There is even a short strip of abandoned interstate on the Air Force Academy, part of which has been turned into a cadet airstrip. The part next to the highway is completely abandoned, though the Academy maintenance people mow the pavement once or twice a year.
If these paved roads become impassible through disuse, and they do, you can imagine that it happens to dirt roads all that much more quickly. Thus, Mark Udall's amendment is tantamount to declaring that there are to be no roads at all on Federal property. That will eventually have a huge impact on the survival of the forests, and not just from fire.
Last week the Gazette had an article called "Forest workers racing insects" which it did not put online. Three weeks ago a wind and rainstorm heavily damaged trees in the Wet Mountains. There were already beetles in the area, and once trees are damaged, beetles colonize them, multiplying to infest and kill undamaged trees. There is a forest road in the area, but 16 miles of it has been blocked by trees and washed out.
Quoting a few paragraphs:
Officials said they hope to have five miles of the road reopened by July 1. The other 11 miles will be closed for most of the summer. Forest Service employees were bicycling the road Wednesday, still trying to assess the damage.
The greatest concern now involves beetles, which like a conquering army after an assault can invade a blown down area and rapidly create a scourge for the entire forest... hundreds of thousands of acres that are susceptible...
The next step (after the road is cleared) will be the monumental task of clearing the other trees...the downed trees are destined for the sawmill. A Montrose based timber company...
Most of the tree removal will be done by next summer because spruce beetles take two years to colonize a tree before attacking another...
Keep in mind that removing the hundreds of acres of downed trees (they are not sure how many, yet, but know it is a big blow down) wouldn't be possible if a road into the area didn't already exist. How bad would it be if this sort of thing happened in one of the designated Wilderness areas in Colorado?
It turns out that we already know. Quoting from the Gazette again:
The largest spruce beetle infestation ever recorded in the United States occurred after a major blowdown in Colorado's Flat Tops area, south of Steamboat Springs in the 1980's, [ Roy ] Mask [ a forest service entomologist ] said. The Flat Tops Wilderness Area is still littered with graveyards of dead trees from the infestation.
We're still working on the lyrics, but here is another verse:
Where have all the wilds gone? Long time passing. Where have all the wilds gone? Long time ago. Where have all the wilds gone? Gone to Udall's Beetles every one. When will leftys ever learn? When will leftys ever learn?
More on the Left's Own Carbon Footprint another day.