Half a year after taking the job, Gov. Bill Ritter last week apparently woke to the fact that Colorado is confronting a forest health crisis of massive proportions, with potentially catastrophic aesthetic and economic consequences. But rather than responding with an action plan, and demanding that state and federal agencies do more to save what forests they can, Ritter seemed to shrug it off as an unavoidable natural calamity.
“(Ritter) said the epidemic can’t be stopped, only managed to reduce the risk of wildfires,” reported The Associated Press. “It’s part of a natural cycle that our kids and grandkids will probably experience,” Ritter said...
This natural disaster is man-made, and a scandal that for some reason hasn’t been recognized as such. Blaming it all on natural forces, and writing it off as inevitable, is a sly way of skirting blame for what’s happening and avoiding the responsibility to respond. And that simply won’t do.
The devastation might still be contained if Ritter and other politicians [ Mark Udall ] would stop wringing their hands and take action. It’s rather pathetic for Ritter to be focusing on how thousands of acres of dead trees might fit into his pie-in-the-sky renewable energy plans, instead of preventing more trees from dying.
This is an appeal by the Gazette to Governor Ritter for common sense. Ritter is simply following the path that Mark Udall has blazed with a roadless policy that promotes large scale forest fire after large scale forest fire.
We and others have written about this elsewhere.