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CASH Courier > 2005 Fall Issue

Selected Articles from our newsletter

The C.A.S.H. Courier

ARTICLE from the Fall 2006 Issue

FIRE MANAGEMENT: AN INCREASINGLY DESTRUCTIVE PRACTICE

THE REAL REASONS FOR FIRE MANAGEMENT

Since fire management is biologically and ecologically destructive then why has it become increasingly advocated and practiced? There are two important reasons for this. The first is quite simple. Fire is a comparatively cheap and easy method of managing (or mismanaging) forests and wildlife. This was why it was originally adopted by some federal and state forest and wildlife managers, who did not want to spend the time, effort, and money on alternative procedures, some of which would be almost as destructive as fire.

The same principle applies at Mohonk Preserve. There are several public and private “conservation” groups that support fire management on these lands. These include the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission, Open Space Institute, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Student Conservation Association, and The Nature Conservancy. It should be noted that these organizations are not ecology communes dedicated to a respect and appreciation of the natural world. In varying degrees they are all businesses, and businesses do not generally operate according to a conservation principle or an ecology principle (except where they are forced to do so in some ways by government regulations).

Despite sometimes lofty goals, the owners of businesses operate primarily according to the principle of profit and loss. The proponents of fire management at Mohonk Preserve admit that fire may be a “cost effective” method of achieving their dubious objectives. Regrettably, our money economy seldom places ecological considerations first, or humanitarian, or ethical, or moral considerations first.

Go on to TWO CONFLICTING WORLDVIEWS

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