Yosemite Fire

We get our water from Hetch Hetchy, in the Sierra. It is wonderful hiking terrain with impressive summits, glaciated ravines and recesses, and wonderful small lakes at timber line. Much of that has been destroyed for the short term in the Yosemite Rim Fire.

Yosemite Valley has been spared and I hope it will be.

This sucks. First because Yosemite is the most beautiful valley in the world. To have the rim burned and the meadows in/near tuolomne burned is tragic, not to mention the homes threatened or burned in the fire.

Then there’s erosion in the winter rains once the fire is contained, which can fill the reservoirs with silt and reduce water availability over the years. There will be a reduction in water quality and supply for the SF Bay Area. Menlo Park, my current home town, gets its water from the Etch Hetchy resovoir and aqua duct.

But I am less concerned about water quality (that can be addressed through filtering), than I am about the loss of beauty in Yosemite. Yes, the valley rim will restore itself over the next few decades, perhaps even in my lifetime. Who knows.

So what started the fire? Does it matter if it was a lightening strike or a careless camper. Does it really? If it were a careless camper, is he/she feeling really guilty about now? What further punishment is appropriate if this were the case? This brings up memories of Smokey the Bear public service announcements: “only YOU can prevent forest fires!” But then there is lightening and poor forest management and Climate Change…

You may not believe that we have significantly changed our environment over the past 50 or 100 years. (assuming you are >60 years old, all you have to do is think back to the way we lived when you were 15 yrs old; compare that with today. If you’re less than 60, there’s congress’ excuse and yours as well??).

But in closing, Cheers to the fire fighters who are protecting us, our property, and our heritage from the ravages of “war”, be it a fire in your garbage area; your home, or your favorite natural valley. I salute our fire fighters nationwide and I trust “our” libertarians see the need to fund at least fire protection, perhaps police, oh but maybe libraries, oh and education, and parks and recreation, and funds for the needy. One can hope; or more significantly, one can VOTE.

If you do not vote, you have no right to complain about the outcome. NONE. Take @#$ responsibility and take the time and VOTE. It is in your best interest, unlike playing the latest video game or gaffing around on face book. Conservative, reactionary, liberal, progressive, republican, democrat, libertarian, it doesn’t matter. VOTE! This is the most revolutionary act you can make in your life (within the law of course). I sympathize with those who believe there is no difference between the candidates, but I disagree vehemently. Perhaps your political opinion is not voiced by some group of candidates, but who cares. Look at the difference and vote for the lesser of two evils, or for the candidate of choice if you do not see either as evil.

Just @#$ VOTE and get a clue people!

(end of today’s rant…)

Go fire fighters and I hope next season is not worse than this year has been.


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