With all of the problems of increased wildfires in the West, a sobering question that affects everyone locally must be asked: Why?
Recently, the La Sal Mountains had a devastating fire in the Pack Creek area that spread to other parts of the mountain and consumed thousands of acres resulting in the loss of homes and other valuable resources. A few years before that, another fire spread in the low-lying areas of the Pack Creek drainage system with the same awful results. How could this have been prevented or at least reduced? Common denominators show that humans are the fire starters, but has anything been done or is being done currently to help alleviate another out-of-control fire? From personal observation, the answer is no. Pack Creek is just waiting for another flare-up to happen. Dead trees and vegetation are thicker than ever. Are property owners along the creek doing anything to reduce the chance of such an event?
One possible solution is to allow livestock into the creek to feed on potential fuel sources. A concerted effort also needs to be made to remove dead trees and brush. An article in Beef Daily written by Amanda Radke, “Graze it, log it or watch it burn,” (Sep 14, 2020) gives sage advice for considering real tried-and-true methods to help reduce the devastation and impact of wildfires. Instead of Moab City and Grand County leadership spending countless hours getting caught up in making ideological recommendations for more wilderness or special conservation areas, or making a useless roundabout next to Swanny Park to fix a non-existent traffic problem in that area and cutting down yet more trees, they should instead focus on obvious problems affecting citizens such as wildfire mitigation, water drainage development for flood control and a new traffic route to meaningfully reduce congestion on Main Street, to name a few.
Kelly Mike Green
La Sal resident and frequent presence in Moab and Grand County