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In the opinion page dated Nov. 25, 2018, George Wuerthner reported on the tragic fire of Paradise, California. He made an important point that grass can be a big factor relating to wild fires.

In the 1930s huge bands of sheep passed through Como heading to the East and West Forks of the Bitterroot.

I vividly remember one of the herders carrying a lamb in his arms. He tried to give it to me, but I thought he was joking. My dad later explained that the lamb probably couldn't keep up and he didn't want to carry it. By the 1950s large bands had disappeared primarily because they compete with game animals for feed.

No one was concerned about the effect it would have on fire behavior. It is reported that the Salish had at least 500 horses when they were met by Lewis and Clark in 1805 at Ross's Hole. Imagine the depletion of grass in the valley at that time.

George down plays the idea of managing our forests. I strongly disgree with his following statement, "The idea that we can influence fires by logging the forest is delusional." He goes on to discredit both commercial and noncommercial thinning. He even suggests that prescribed burning increases fire danger by creating "flashy fuels" and yet never mentions grazing as a good management practice in fire reduction.

Following the Sleeping Child and Saddle Mountain fires of the 1960s it was thought that a fire break between the Bitterroot and Big Hole was a good idea, so a wide area was cleared right up the Continental Divide. It made a dandy seed bed and only a few years later I thinned large portions of the break. The point is there are lots of ideas but maybe not one perfect solution to fire prevention. The articles position that the "only" strategy is to reduce green house gases may be a long shot.

There could be other considerations. The Scripture states that "in the last days perilous times shall come". See 2 Timothy 3:1 and Luke 21:25-27

I'm reminded of the girl and her little brother when encountered by an angry bull. The girl said lets stop and pray but the boy's idea was pray while we run.

While I'm a strong advocate of the scripture yet I support grazing our "flashy fuels" and thinning our forests. Remember young healthy fast growing trees are good for the environment.

— Bill Kyle, Como

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