Fri, Feb. 21

Letter: USFS: Alternatives to prescribed burns?


We have to appreciate all the hard work that the Forest Service does in the maintenance of our forests. They certainly have a lot of territory to cover and control.

One of the projects in the past was to do control burns. They had to change the name of that operation to “prescribed” burns, as they had trouble with the control burns getting out of control.

Now, it seems, the prescribed burns are out of control. During a recent week, we had fires completely surrounding the Verde Valley, flooding our landscape with smoke and haze. Many of us in the valley love the clean air and the natural beauty that surround us.

Also, the tourists that come here and want to admire our valley, take pictures, and inhale our clean air, etc. What a disappointment for many of them to come into a miasma of smoke.

Then, there are the people who have chronic lung disease like COPD, asthma, and allergies that are affected by the impure air. Before the legal profession sees the polluted air as another source of revenue by filing suits amongst the Forest Service, I think they need to be more proactive in their managing style.

Maybe chipping rather than burning would be a better way. Just put the chips back on the forest floor and let them disintegrate and re-nourish the soil.

Or maybe the logging industry should have a hand in the forest management for the privilege of logging on public lands.

Please, Forest Service, stop smoking us out.

Dr. James P. Joseph, DDS

Prescott Valley

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