The USDA-Forest Service has never had a light-and-leave policy in regards to its prescribed fire program, also called controlled burns. (My Turn “Forest Service must change burn policy to avoid accidental disaster” Sierra Sun March 3)
The policy is and always has been to leave personnel on scene until the appropriate officials declare the burn “dead out.” To imply otherwise is an insult to the many people who design, implement and manage of hundreds of fuels management programs throughout the United States, including myself.
Developing a prescription for a controlled burn is based on science, field knowledge, art and a bit of luck ” all based on the rules of cause and effect. Should one part of the equation change it will have corresponding results and adjustment. Predictions (wind, temperatures, fuels conditions, etc.) can and do chance in an instant, resulting in immediate responses.
Yes, unfortunately, prescribed fire does occasionally escape and can cause unbearable loss of life and property. Catastrophic escaped prescribed burns are few and far between. Those, however, fall under the “if it bleeds it leads” category and detract from the thousands of acres of prescribed burns that are fully successful each year.
Fuels Management Specialist
USDA-Forest Service (retired)
I read with great amusement, your column on the “Irrepressible Potty Police” (Sierra Sun March 10) of Truckee, Berkeley et. al.
Good writing and fun. I wonder though, would noisy and rude protestations in public parks or in front of public buildings where people come and go or picnic or attempt to enter for the purpose of conducting business, constitute interrupting or preventing altogether, “the comfortable enjoyment of life or property by a community, or a neighborhood, or any considerable number of persons”?
Naaah, that is protected by the 1st Amendment right of free speech.
It follows then, if one were protesting the lack of public facilities for the receipt of waste matter (besides paper and trash) could that not be considered exercising one’s 1st Amendment right of free speech? Having been among the users of the Jibboom Alley urinal more than once, and being a person of good repute at the same time (albeit under the influence of considerable pressure from the consumption of libation), I found it amusing that we frequent visitors to Truckee find ourselves visiting Verdi now for free parking, a good drink, a smoke at the bar and a clean toilet to use.
Ahhh, American free capitalism.
San Ramon, Calif.
I’m writing this letter as a 28-plus year Truckee resident (thus I qualify as “Almost Local”), triggered by Sierra Sun Editor Jamie Bate’s March 10 column on Truckee’s “Potty Police.” My irritation has finally overcome my sense of humor over what Truckee is becoming.
If my aging memory still serves me, shortly after incorporation the Town Council adopted a wide range of “normal/standard” laws and regulations in order to speed up town functions. These laws and regulations were accepted wholesale, with little or no scrutiny or public input. Now, apparently some of these laws and regulations are being used as an excuse to stop, identify, and search people in the hope of uncovering something nefarious about the “perpetrators.”
With regard to motor vehicle safety regulations that pertain to cracks in windshields and functionality of headlights, taillights, and turn signals; how many Truckee vehicles can remain flawless in our extreme environment? Now, how many of the obviously “upstanding and unblemished” Truckee residents driving in “blemished” vehicles are pulled over, questioned, searched, and ticketed for these offenses?
Where did the “public urination ordinance” come from anyway? Certainly not a rural township similar to Truckee. It appears that under this law you could be searched and arrested for “whizzing” in the bushes of your own home at midnight (“within 100 ft. of any building or structure” or “within 50 ft. of any public or private roadway”)! I’d wager that this ordinance would seem “offensive to the senses” of “any considerable number of (property owning) persons.”
As almost every bathroom in downtown Truckee is now reserved for paying customers (or Realtors), I can only hope that someone sues the Town of Truckee because they haven’t supplied a place where one may “legally” relieve oneself 24 hours a day.
So Happy I Moved,
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If Israel and the United Kingdom are any indication, widespread vaccination will knock the pandemic down to … normal life. Something near.