Letters, Oct. 7: “Yell Fire”
Both the article "After the Burn" (Sept. 20) about the Medio Fire, and a subsequent letter to the editor by Bob Kirsme, present a highly one-sided view of a complex issue.
In the name of "protecting our forests," the US Forest Service has created barren ecological wastelands within our forest. In treated areas, the vast majority of trees, over 90% by tree count, are often removed and then burned every 5-15 years. Research shows that this is much too frequent burning, that fire historically occurred in the Santa Fe watershed on average only every 55 years. Thinning projects are damaging to the forest, causing soil compaction, erosion, wildlife habitat disruption, and largely eradicating the understory.
It's jumping out of the frying pan into the fire. To attempt to solve one problem, a worse problem is created. Also, public health is seriously impacted by ongoing prescribed burn smoke.
Fire is largely weather driven and widespread fuel treatments generally don't help during high intensity fire. Thinning 100+ feet around homes and infrastructure does help.
The purpose of an Environmental Impact Statement is to make sure all issues are considered. It's critical this be done for the Santa Fe Mountains Landscape Resiliency Project.
Cover, Sept. 30: “Links for Life”
All walks of life
The "Links for Life" cover story by Jeff Proctor was well-written and I hope provided some insight into why golfers have been ecstatic in being able to play during the pandemic. Golf continues to become more and more popular in Santa Fe. At one time golf was limited to the wealthier among us, but with the advent of affordable courses open to the public, it now is enjoyed by persons from all walks of life.
Those that don't play the game never may understand the allure of this wonderfully exciting, yet sometimes exasperating game. I'm glad that the story also mentioned the use of treated waste water to keep the courses green.
A letter to the editor in the Sept. 30 edition incorrectly referred to Ruth Bader Ginsburg as the chief justice of the Supreme Court.