HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Off Topic: Re: Newbie Intro, + how to clean your burr grinder (4 msgs / 142 lines)
1) From: James H. Wheeler
You might also blame Smokey the Bear and the misguided effort to put out all
fires.  Before that effort, small-scale fires cleared the underbrush before
it reached critical mass.  Now, the underbrush and duff have turned most of
the forests into conflagrations waiting to happen.  Here in Utah, a lot of
new developments are in areas of trees and brush.  Homeowners do not want
the brush cleared from around their homes because that makes the area look
stark.  These people also prefer shake shingles.  A fire chief friend refers
to those neighborhoods as tinderboxes.  Before construction, he helped us
fireproof our home and landscape designs.  Now, the house has a circular
driveway that can accomodate fire trucks and serves as a firebreak.  All
brush has been cut back at least 100 feet from the house and grass planted
in the cleared areas.  Our emergency generator can handle our well pump.
Other precautions ensure we are unlikely to lose the house.  Keep in mind
that we do not have to deal with neighborhood associations, covenants, etc.
Our home is in an isolated valley in western Utah.
As an ecologist (complete with degrees), I tend to mistrust political
solutions to ecosystem problems.
Jim in Skull Valley

2) From: MMore
Unless you're roasting your beans in the fire, I suggest that there is probably a better forum for this political stream.   BTW, maybe people shouldn't build their homes in areas that carry such a high risk of fire, mudslides, etc...?
Michael A.

3) From: James H. Wheeler
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Out of forum for coffee.  
 
I agree that people shouldn't build in high-risk 
areas.  However, many lack a real choice and then have to deal with 
homeowner associations that dictate the materials of construction.
 
We chose our home site carefully to limit risk and 
maximize isolation.  No homeowners associations to dictate anything.  
By owning 80 acres and not building too close to the property line, we ensure 
that our fire control measures will not be compromised by neighbors or 
politicians.  We built on a high point to eliminate the risk of flooding or 
mudslides.  The area is at low risk for earthquakes and we built away from 
known faults.  
 
Living in the Great Basin, we are at risk for range 
fires, but have limited the risk by designing the house and landscape to lower 
the risk.  Cutting back the brush and having a circular driveway around the 
house help quite a bit.  Planting a drought-resistant grass that the 
firefighters view as a slow burner helps.  That grass covers more than 20 
acres near the house.  We chose siding and roofing that burn poorly.  
We built more than 300 feet from the road and cleared the brush to minimize the 
risk of people-started fires.
 
Not everyone has the opportunity we did and even 
fewer would choose the isolation we enjoy.  Most do not want to be 
responsible for their own utilities (sewer, water, power, etc.).  Although 
we are on the mains for power, an automatic start propane generator can run the 
house and well.  No, we are not survivalists, just people who enjoy 
isolation and a view of seven mountain ranges.  
 
BTW, I just stepped back indoors after roasting 
coffee outdoors.  Nothing quite like the smell of fresh-roast coffee and a 
view of snow-capped mountain ranges to calm one's soul.  
 
Jim in Skull Valley
 

4) From: Owen Davies
I loathe off-topic threads, but...
<Snip>
all fires.
This is true, so far as it goes, and so was the complaint about
"tree-huggers."  However, you might also consider apportioning some of the
blame to Republicans, whom no one else can trust not to use the clearing of
underbrush as an excuse to hand public forests over to their lumber-company
campaign contributors.  I suspect that many opponents of clearing would have
been a easier to convince if not for the habitual under-handedness of the
policy's supporters in Washington.
Note that the recent bill authorizing such operations specifically allows
the "clearing" of trees with trunks up to 12 inches in diameter.  This is
the size most in demand by lumber companies for the crap that now passes as
2x4 studs.  But no doubt that's just a coincidence.
It reminds me of a Reagan-era cartoon of then-Interior Secretary James Watt
teaching a small child about the sounds of the forest:  "'Rumble, rumble'
goes the bulldozer.  'Vroom-vroom' goes the chain saw."
Credit where it's due.
Owen Davies


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