|Photo by Matt Howard|
Bob Roper, retired Nevada State Forester and retired Ventura County Fire Chief has put his 40+ years of experience on the table in his recent essay: Wildfires - The Answer. Jim Peterson, the editor of Evergreen Magazine calls it, "a brutally honest assessment of the underlying and still unresolved problems associated with the West's wildfire crisis," and praises Roper saying "he has artfully lanced a festering boil the political classes continue to ignore."
We like it because Chief Roper, a long-time participant in the development and implementation of the Cohesive Strategy, offers a series of plausible actions that can be taken by all levels of government (federal, state and local) in addition to efforts by non-governmental agencies and the public, to make meaningful progress beyond simply calling for another "blue ribbon" study to analyze the problem.
Within the context of the Cohesive Strategy, Roper calls on stakeholders to take actions that will have meaningful impact on the issue including:
- Revision of EPA standards to allow for more controlled fires,
- Streamlining of the environmental review process,
- Development of a firefighting funding source for federal fire agencies that does not rob prevention and mitigation funding,
- Development and enforcement of building standards and practices in fire-prone areas,
- Creation and enforcement of defensible space programs,
- Greater emphasis on personal responsibility,
- and more.
Read his complete list of actions and full essay here.