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A ‘tinderbox’

Those savvy in the ways of government know the best way to block something is not necessarily to come right out and say you’re against it.

Take the construction of the new San Bernardino County Hospital in California, for example. Extremist environmentalists who oppose virtually every construction project could hardly come right out and say they were against a hospital, could they?

No, the best course was to pretend to have no objections to the hospital project at all — love it, really — except for this one little thing. Building the driveway to the hospital might disturb the flight pattern of the “Delhi sands-loving fly.”

Sorry about those costly months and years of delays we’re about to impose on the sick people of San Bernardino County, but we need time to “study” the impacts on the fly.

You can’t object to a “study,” can you? We need all the facts before we do something that might cause irreversible harm to one of God’s creatures … right?

We’re not making that up. Greens using the Endangered Species Act delayed the hospital for years.

This week, hundreds of thousands of people fled their homes around San Diego, watching to see whether the current epidemic of wildfires — fueled in part by dried vegetation which environmentalists demand no cattle be allowed to graze and no one be allowed to clear away — would claim their homes.

Meantime, residents of wooded Mount Charleston, 20 miles northwest of Las Vegas, can be grateful the Nevada Fire Safe Council helps residents clear brush away from homes here.

Mount Charleston “is a tinderbox,” explains Marty Glenn, a nine-year Mount Charleston resident and member of the Council. Two years of below-normal rainfall have dried out plants on the mountain and, “It’s not a matter of if the mountain is going to catch on fire, it’s when.”

There have already been several small wildfires on the mountain this year — usually sparked by lightning — though aggressive fire crews and cooperative weather have kept any from getting out of hand, so far.

Residents could also give thanks that the U.S. Forest Service received a grant several years ago to remove dry and flammable dead trees in the forest, Mr. Glenn says — except for one thing

The project has been held up by environmental studies.

“They have good intentions, but it seems they’re caught up in government red tape,” he explains.

Gee. What a surprise.

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