BCHC Mid Valley Unit

President's Monthly Message

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August, 2018

Michael King (Left) Michael King, and friend.

Hello, once again, to all of you.

It is very much noteworthy that I'm composing this message on Thursday night rather than Friday night, as has been the case of late. I seem to be suffering from a shortage of hours in the day, especially this time of the year. Summers never seem to have enough hours. I'm sure most of you probably experience the same phenomenon in your own lives. Suffice it to say, I feel your pain.

In any event, I hope this message finds you well, and you and all of your animals safe. It seems that we have been living with so many destructive fires over these last few years, they seem to all run together into one huge perpetual event. When considering it all, one sometimes wonders how there is anything left to burn? This 2018 summer fire season seems to be particularly bad, especially in the loss of firemen. All over California, their ranks have been hit especially hard. We offer sincere and heartfelt condolences to their families for their sacrifice.

Up and down the state, many citizens have lost their homes and livelihoods. That has to be very mentally debilitating. We all need a space, our home, where we can say, "This is my space, this is where I belong." To have that and all of your personal possessions that reinforce "your space" ripped away from you, has to be extremely difficult. If you know someone in that position, connect with them as much as possible. They just might need to talk or visit for a minute, to bring back a bit of normalcy into their lives as they struggle to recover and rebuild.

Out of the bad, however, there may be a small silver lining. It is with great hope that these fires will, at long last, generate a re-examination of our public land policy and stewardship. We obviously need a more sensible approach to forest management, one that allows a reasonable amount of logging as well as grazing. Logging would thin the existing stands of trees and remove diseased and bug-laden trees. The benefits would include reducing the fuel load, making huge and destructive fires harder to get started, and utilizing the timber rather than watching it just fall and rot away.

I am for the conservation of our natural resources as much as anyone. However, in my opinion, for far too long, sensible range and forest management has been shut down by rabid environmental groups, using the threat, and the actual filing, of lawsuits. These groups thwart the proper agency resource management, if by no other means, than wasting the managing agencies' operating money in court.

Thus, the available money budgeted for campground maintenance, road repair, etc., is instead spent in the courtroom, benefiting no one but the lawyers. This needs to change, and change now. There has already been too much loss of life and property. It's time to push back and take back sensible resource management.

A final note. If you live in fire prone areas, train your stock to load into a trailer. You might not ever trailer them anywhere but they should still know how to load. I've recently read about many volunteer animal evacuation people struggling to rescue animals that don't know how to load. This requires unnecessary expenditure of time, when time is of the essence.

Stay safe, everyone, and pray for all impacted by these fires, and the safety of those fire people working to save us and our property.
Michael King

(Our President writes a message every month for the newsletter.)



Backcountry Horsemen of California - Mid Valley Unit
PO Box 1709
Modesto CA 95353-1709

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