During the summer when the wild fires rage, I have to laugh. Not at the hardship people will suffer or the potential life lost, but more at the fact that this is such a big issue year after year.
It seems fairly straight forward to me.
During prior administrations, we decreased our forest maintainance funding. We no longer went in and picked up all of the dead branches and brush. Add that to a near-nationwide drought, and we now experience larger, more frequent forest fires.
So now we must make a choice. Do we clean up the forests, removing brush and dead branches, or do we assume the risk of not doing so?
I think we should either clean up, or let the fires burn themselves out. I really don't care which. Yeah, the forests are nice, but they'll grow back.
The issue last summer was pure politics. Unfortunately, the Democrats are better at politics then Republicans.
The Democrats wanted to make the President out to be an anti-environment "big-log" spokesman. For the most part, they seem to have succeeded. This issue was really pushed while the President was on his "working vacation", so it was also used to show he was lazy, and he was a slacker.
President Bush's response was great, though. What did he do on his vacation? Cleared brush out of his own forest!
I found that very funny.
I probably over-analyzed this, huh?