SPECIAL TO CITIZEN-TIMES
POSTED: Aug. 6, 2003 5:47 p.m.
As it has in many other states, the U.S. government has badly mismanaged its federally owned forest lands in North Carolina. Years of a "zero tolerance" fire policy have left forests and rangelands overgrown and full of diseased and infested trees. Although these policies were well- intentioned efforts to protect the land from destructive fires, they have unfortunately had the opposite effect.