Douglas board to leap into forest fray |

Douglas board to leap into forest fray

by Christy Chalmers, staff writer

Douglas County may join a New Mexico county’s call for stronger fire prevention efforts in federal forests.

The Douglas County commission will consider endorsing a letter Thursday that supports a September 2000 resolution passed by the Otero County, N.M., county commission.

In a five-page resolution, the Otero board condemned U.S. Forest Service management efforts, citing a wildfire that destroyed homes in that county. The resolution accused the Forest Service of “mismanagement” and said the agency ignored pleas for action to reduce wildfire threats.

“It is beyond question in the minds of reasonable men that the Forest Service has utterly failed to exercise that sovereign (management) right prudently or responsibly in that its exercise of that right has exposed citizens of the state of New Mexico to the state of emergency,” the resolution says.

The document goes on to ask for a state takeover of the forests and seeks support from the state’s congressional representatives.

A draft of the letter Douglas County is considering urges Nevada’s congressional delegation to help address Otero County’s concerns.

County Manager Dan Holler, who submitted the proposed letter, was not available for comment and Douglas commission Chairman Bernie Curtis said Tuesday he hadn’t seen the resolution, but predicted the letter would get support. He cited a controlled burn on Mount Como in October that got out of control and scorched 1,700 acres.

“The Bureau of Land Management is planning another controlled burn, and that may have been the reason for some of the concern,” said Curtis.

The BLM is planning a prescribed burn near Jack Wright Summit in south Douglas County.

The Douglas commission meets Thursday. The discussion on the letter is scheduled after a series of annual appointments to various advisory boards are made. The meeting starts at 1 p.m. at the old courthouse, 1616 Eighth St, Minden.