Way Too Many People Live Out Here

One must be very careful throwing around words like pristine. To talk about fire history in San Diego County before humankind (as Mr. Hogan does) one needs to go back probably ten thousand or more years to a time when lightning was the only source of ignition, undoubtedly under very different climatic conditions. Humans have been here, using fire on the land, for many thousands of years. The effect of this use of fire and changes to fire frequency since then is pretty unclear, though many have tried to figure it out. But we haven't had a lightning dominated fire system in Southern California for a long time. These same humans managed and made a living off these "pristine" lands. TO say the land was a wilderness before the arrival of the spanish is, well, racist. When the spanish came they brought many more domesticated animals then are found on the land today, as well as all those non-native species that cause so much concern. To imagine that putting a line on a map and calling a place wilderness somehow reverses all this history on the land and starts the clock running backward to some romanticized pristine balanced state is the worst kind of naivete - a naivete that "big sue 'em and sue 'em again" environmentalism is still amazingly guilty of. Ecosystems are dynamic and have history - there is no one pristine state that they are suppose to be in. The new Forest Service planning regs (the ones that produced these plans) does produce more general, strategic plans. The old plans, with all the site specific outcomes and targets, are the plans that these same groups would sue about over and over again in the past - so much so that none of the specifics in the old plans could be implemented. So why bother. The bottom line for the lawsuits for the new plans and the old is always the same - one special interest group does not get everything they want. When Dave Hogan talks about a compromise at the end of this article I really had a chuckle. Also Dave, its not 1990 anymore and most environmentalists have moved on from your blanket damnation of cows. Enviro groups are licking their chops at getting ahold of Rancho Guejito and turning it into a park. If cows are so bad than why is this working ranch so ecologically valuble and provide so much good habitat for County wildlife?? I have to laugh when I see the Center for Biological Diversity main page on livestock grazing that says livestock and arid lands don't mix. Arid lands are the reason humans domesticated livestock and goats and sheep in the first place and the main agricultural activity on arid lands - sustainable over thousands of years - has been grazing. Livestock grazing can be improperly managed and can have negative effects, but properly managed it can have little negative and even positive impacts. And if the ranching industry was supported better in San Diego County you may have fewer subdivisions that occur as ranchers give up and sell out.
— July 24, 2008 5:24 p.m.

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