The Oregonian, Oregon’s largest daily newspaper, published a 20-page special section on Sunday, “Burned: How a Wildfire Devastated Lives in Oregon.” The online version includes several videos of the fire area. To its credit, The Oregonian allowed the USFS to respond to the article (page 15 or here).
The paper also has a “Fixes” section that addresses funding, forest restoration, and other factors. Under each of the “solutions” are the key folks who can make or influence change or reforms. For example, under forest restoration, several US senators, USFS Chief Tom Tidwell, and Oregon’s Gov. Brown are listed. In the online version, there are “Tweet” and Contact” links under each name.
The comments online are worth reading — 51, so far. One of them said, “I would suggest that these reporters spend a fire season out there so they might have some inkling of what they are talking about. Otherwise they are worse than arm chair quarter backs. They are dangerously uninformed and misinformed.”
I agree, to a point.
In the Fixes section, The paper suggest that “Congress also would need to hold the agency accountable for results, continue funding of collaborative groups and support “landscape level” projects that analyze restoration on 1 million acres, instead of 30,000-acre chunks. ” Here, too, I agree to a point: The agency should be held accountable, but so should the collaboratives and the groups that oppose forest management (not that Congress has any power to do so, except via funding, in the case of collaboratives).
Bottom line: The Oregonian deserves much credit for devoting to much time and effort to the issues.