Letter: Put rangers back in forests

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Why am I not surprised to read letters here calling to ban fireworks? Following this logic, we should ban lighters, matches and morons.

However, there was a great story on forest management (“Wildfires reignite fire management practices debate,” Sept. 8). I don’t agree with every aspect of the story, but the forests need to be cared for by foresters. In Skamania County we have four fires burning, all human-caused, as there have been no lightning storms. Had there been rangers patrolling, as in the past, perhaps one or two could have been prevented.

In the past, I spent many days each year in the woods — hunting, fishing, camping, and cutting firewood. With the headquarters in Hemlock then, the rangers had a short drive to the forest roads; we saw them often. They would stop and chat, check that our campfire was safe, and that we had tools to care for it; a shovel and a supply of water were mandatory.

In July, my wife and I drove from Trout Lake to Carson on the Carson-Guler road. Though campfire restrictions were well-posted, we saw many campfires, and not one ranger.

Let’s get the headquarters back in the Gifford Pinchot, and the foresters and rangers back to care for our forests. The present plan is not working.