Saturday, August 24, 2013
What do wild pigs and wildfires have in common? Both could be handled more effectively with a new WPA and a new CCC.
Above: Millions of wild pigs are roaming the United States, causing all sorts of havoc. These pigs "devour crops, uproot pastures, destroy wildlife habitats, spread disease to humans and animals, kill trees and even knock over cemetery stones." Public domain image, courtesy of Wikipedia.
Above: A news report on the fire threatening Yosemite National Park. The fire is causing problems for businesses near Yosemite that rely on vacation & tourism dollars. The fire has also caused California Governor Jerry Brown to declare a "state of emergency for San Francisco 150 miles away because of the threat to the city's utilities." Original link to video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7UuWweNVOc.
With respect to the wild pig problem, it has been noted that "Trapping and shooting are the primary means of eliminating wild pigs..." and "They are here to stay and its going to take a huge concerted effort to get the numbers under control" (see "U.S. Wild Pig Problem Irks State Officials").
Interestingly, the WPA and CCC engaged in various types of pest control and, right now, there are about 26 million Americans who wish they had a full-time job but can't find one (see http://njfac.org/).
With respect to the Yosemite fire, part of the problem is that the fire is difficult to get to (see, e.g., here), and there is a lot of dry wood and vegetation to fuel the fire (see, e.g., here).
Interestingly, the WPA and CCC engaged in all manner of fire prevention and firefighting, including the construction of access roads, the removal of dead & dry vegetation, and the building of thousands of miles of firebreaks. And, right now, there are over 4 million Americans who the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics classifies as "long-term unemployed."
What a shame we don't have a WPA and CCC today, to help us address these large numbers of wild pigs and wildfires. Our unemployed sit on the sidelines, losing hope, and our Congress twiddles its thumbs.