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Precise conditions

Darrell Dion, Gardnerville

BLM prescribed burn policy might be more readily accepted by the citizens of Carson/Smith Valley if there were more information provided.

First, there would need to be a statement for the need of a controlled burn. Would it be to improve the health and balance of the total forest? Would it be to remove the build up of fuel on the forest floor? (If this is the case, the longer the build-up, the greater the danger.) Is it to remove noxious non-native weeds so that native plants and grasses might thrive? Would the fire improve the habitat and forage of wildlife?

Secondly, after examining the goals of the prescribed burn, there should be a discussion of alternative methods. These might be safer and less expensive, especially if the fire gets out of control: tree thinning, spraying of herbicides, seeding native plants and other related activities.

If there is to be a burn, then there should be very precise conditions for which it should be under taken. That is, specific delineation of area, wind direction, humidity level and other factors should all be discussed and agreed to beforehand.

Lastly, the BLM needs to assure the citizens that there are sufficient resources to ensure that the prescribed burn does not get out of control as was seen last year.