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Yellowstone Park Fires

September 18, 1988

As a summer resident of Livingston, Mont., I was shocked on my recent arrival there by driving through 500 miles of thick smoke, from the out-of-control Yellowstone Park fires.

I was told that these fires had been burning for months due to the policy of the National Park Service of letting forest fires burn themselves out. This is called the "natural burn policy."

I suggest that the real natural burn here is the burning of the public trust by the National Park Service. The idea that to let a forest burn down to the ground is somehow good for it, is akin to the concept that saturation bombing is good for urban renewal because it levels all structures.

In this case, the civilians are the animals and the trees, and they are all being killed.

I insist that the basic mandate of the national parks is the conservation of natural resources for future generations. This mandate is being arrogantly ignored.

I call for the resignations of all officials who are in any way responsible for this debacle in our oldest and most beautiful national park.

HENRY ADAMS

Agoura Hills

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