Did I say sport fisherman? Sport fisherman don’t shoot endangered species in the name of conservation, though policies to appease sport fisherman has certainly led to the influx of certain trout species in non-native waters that has almost irreparably damaged multiple ecosystems long-term.
Interestingly I learned today that state and federal agencies have been slow to embrace the use of prescribed fires and “let it burn” policies that fire management agencies in California for a variety of reasons. It is something they are doing more often, but it really depends on the situation. The article noted that fires had typically swept through stands of trees in the Sierras once every ten years or so. Areas that the Ferguson Fire near Yosemite burned hadn’t burned since record keeping in the 30s, so you can imagine the level of undergrowth there. Prescribed burns are risky though; one of the largest wildfires in Arizona history was caused by one.
Today Zinke, visiting California, essentially blamed environmental policies for the fires. The essential argument is that if there were less trees, there wouldn’t be as many fires. In a fairly simplistic way this is true, but the policies regarding fire suppression in federal lands (ex: the Smokey the Bear campaign) was brought about by corporate interests, not treehuggers. After all, if a fire sweeps through a forest, the timber industry can’t cut them down.