Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Wildfires: Oregon could use a new Civilian Conservation Corps

(State flag of Oregon, image courtesy of Wikipedia.)

Currently, Oregon is playing whack-a-mole with several wildfires. Worse, it's doing it with a shortage of firefighting crew members (see "Shortage of crews, approaching storms challenge efforts to corral Oregon wildfires").
During the New Deal era, policymakers created the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) to, among other things, fight wildfires. In Oregon, 25,000 of its unemployed citizens (as well as 2,800 Indians and thousands of non-residents) were enrolled. These men provided 680,000 man-days of firefighting work, and planted nearly 50 million trees (Roosevelt's Forest Army: A History of the Civilian Conservation Corps, by Perry H. Merrill, 1981, p. 166). The WPA also engaged in many firefighting activities across the nation.

We could do the same today, if so many of our political "leaders," and policy "think tanks," weren't so focused on suing President Obama, impeaching President Obama, and drawing & quartering President Obama (see "Think Tank ‘Analyst’ Says ‘Being Hung, Drawn, And Quartered Is Probably Too Good’ For Obama"). In other words, if it weren't for all this political foolishness, we could actually have some common sense policies put in place, like a new CCC and a new WPA.

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