Image and poem

Time to object.

Dear forest friends,

The Hermit’s Peak Fire/Calf Canyon Fire complex is burning ferociously, fanned by the spring winds. It is heart-breaking to realize that people in rural communities are being driven out of their homes, and many homes have burned down. Fortunately, our community is coming together to help those who are displaced.

The fire complex now exceeds 168,000 acres, and is the second largest fire ever in New Mexico. A substantial section of the Pecos Wilderness has burned, likely much of it at high intensity.

The Hermits Peak Fire was caused by a Forest Service prescribed burn gone out of control. The burn was done during an expected break in the intense spring winds, while red flag wind warnings were in effect nearby. We saw the same scenario play out in May of 2000, with the Cerro Grande Fire in Los Alamos. Apparently the lessons of that destructive fire were not learned.

The objection period for the Santa Fe Mountains Project is May 12. Information on how to object is now posted here at The Forest Advocate.

If you wrote either Santa Fe Mountains Project scoping comments, or draft EA comments, you have standing to object, and it’s important to do so.

But everyone has the right to object to the Santa Fe Mountains Project, and to the risk of prescribed burns being carried out right by our communities. Just write to the Forest Service and our elected representatives, and tell them what you think about the project. Contact information is provided here.

If ever there was a time to stand for our forests, our community and our health, the time is now. Make your voices heard. The two large forest cutting/burning projects need to be put on hold until the Forest Service has done due diligence, done full analysis, and completed Environmental Impact Statements for both.