California Rancher Blames Politics For Wildfires

San Bernardino County Fire ( San Bernardino County Fire Department )

California rancher Dave Daley survived the Bear fire. Many of his 400 cows did not. He fears for his family legacy.

A sixth-generation rancher and professor emeritus of animal science at Cal State Chico, Daley believes California’s wildfires could have been prevented — if it weren’t for the divisive politics that for decades have pitted agriculture against environmentalism, climate change against forest management, “enviros” against ranchers.

In a Los Angeles Times feature, Daley said he wants this: Compromise — a return to centrist politics lost in the current uproar. Read the full article here: "Wildfire ravaged this rancher’s cattle and maybe his family legacy. He blames politics."

“I am again angry at everyone and no one,” Daley wrote a few days after the fire, in a Facebook message.  “I am absolutely tired of politicians and politics, from both the left and the right. Shut up. You use tragedies to fuel agendas and raise money to feed egos. I am sick of it. And it plays out on social media and cable news with (distortion) and half-truths. ON BOTH SIDES. Washington, DC is 3000 miles away and is filled with lobbyists, consultants and regulators who wouldn’t know a sugar pine from a fir. Sacramento is 100 miles south and feels even more distant than DC.”

Daley has held leadership posts in the California Cattlemen’s Association, the California Cattle Council and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, and says he is tired of ranchers being demonized and forests subject to litigation and inaction until they are dangerously overgrown.