Letters, Oct. 7: “Yell Fire”

Manufactured Consent

Mr. Kirmse referred to “trusted Wildfire management specialist” but that is an oxymoron.  If you look closely, the World Bank’s forestry programs Mr. Kirmse is so proud to be a part of, they removed vast numbers of trees in Latin America and the rest of the world, and replaced them with huge monocrop farms for export.
The lesson learned from devastating wildfires: climate change is the driver.  It is simplistic to blame dead trees on the ground for gigantic wildfires…The Forest Service and the Timber industry’s expertise is in manufacturing consent for their agenda.  They are also talented at making up new euphemisms for their destructive behavior.
The Forest Service isn’t above the law.  Instead of endlessly complaining about being held accountable they should have started the environmental impact study long ago. It could have been completed by now.If you want to see how effective the forest service treatments are, hike up to the top of Black Canyon, look at the dead zone created 18 years ago with a prescribed burn. I don’t think anyone would call it regeneration.
Fred King
Santa Fe

Endorsements, Oct. 14: “Election Guide”

Vote No on PRC Change

There are at least three good reasons to vote NO on Constitutional Amendment 1.
First, a mysterious political action committee called the “Committee to Protect New Mexico Consumers” is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to promote the amendment without disclosing the source of that dark money. If this constitutional amendment is really so good for consumers, then why are the people who are bankrolling it hiding their identities from the public?
Second, as PRC Commissioner Steve Fischmann explains, “the ballot description of Amendment 1 deliberately conceals its real purpose—taking away your vote.” The description of the amendment never indicates that the PRC is being converted from an elected commission to an appointed one. Why hide the ball from voters?
Finally, the problem CA 1 seeks to fix has already been addressed. In 2012, voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment to dramatically increase the qualifications of PRC commissioners. Current commissioners include an environmental engineer, an attorney, a business executive, and people with experience in state and federal government. The current system strikes a good balance by requiring commissioners to be qualified to do the job while still being accountable to the public that elects them.
Fred Nathan Jr.
Think New Mexico