The U.S. Forest Service is planning to drop ping pong ball sized incendiary devices from helicopters to burn the Linville Gorge Wilderness in North Carolina.
The U.S. Forest Service tells the public they have suppressed fire in the Linville Gorge for 50 years and must "restore" fire with "controlled" burns despite the fact that more than 4,000 acres of the 12,000 acre Gorge was been burned by natural fire and an escaped campfire fire in the last 12 years. The upper third of the Gorge is a temperate rain forest with 67" of rainfall annually and no propensity for wildfire. How much more of the Gorge must be burned to "restore" this magnificent old growth forest with its great diversity of flora and fauna?
While the U.S. Forest Service tells the public that their "controlled" burns will prevent catastrophic fire, they don't tell the public about the risks of their plan. The USFS attempted a 1,500 acre "controlled" burn in CroatanNational Forest this past June and instead created their own catastrophic 21,000 acre out of control fire.
The 1964 Wilderness Act establishes:
“A wilderness, in contrast with those areas where man and his own works dominate the landscape, is hereby recognized as an area where the earth and community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.”
The Linville Gorge is a perfect example of Wilderness, let's act now to keep it that way. In addition to ignoring the 1964 Wilderness Act and the dangers of out of control burns, the burns will negatively impact global warming, human health, and the economy of the local community.