Wildfire and Americans by Roger G. Kennedy
How to Save Lives, Property, and Your Tax Dollars

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Three years after Roger Kennedy retired as director of the National Park Service, from his Santa Fe home he watched as the Cerro Grande Fire moved across the Pajarito Plateau and into Los Alamos. Two hundred and thirty-five homes were destroyed, more than 45,000 acres of forest were burned, and the nation's nuclear laboratories were threatened; even before the embers had died a blame game erupted. Kennedy's career as a public servant, which encompasses appointments under five presidential administrations, convinced him that the tragedy would produce scapegoats and misinformation, and leave American lives at risk. That was unacceptable, even unforgivable.

Wildfire and Americans is a passionate, deeply informed appeal that we acknowledge wildfire not as a fire problem but as a people problem. Americans are in the wrong places, damningly because they were encouraged to settle there. Politicians, scientists, and CEOs acting out of patriotism, hubris, and greed have
placed their fellow countrymen in harm's way. And now, with global warming, we inhabit a landscape that has become much more dangerous. Grounded in the conviction that we owe a duty to our environment and our fellow man, Wildfire and Americans is more than a depiction of policies gone terribly awry. It is a plea to acknowledge the mercy we owe nature and mankind.


About Roger G. Kennedy

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Roger G. Kennedy has served as director of the National Park Service and director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. The author of nine books, he lives in Boston, Massachusetts.
Published April 15, 2007 by Hill and Wang. 357 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math, Computers & Technology, Professional & Technical, Sports & Outdoors. Non-fiction

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The author, a self-defined Eisenhower Republican, sees many villains, from greedy land developers and loggers disrespecting the environment to the Bush administration describing a healthy forest as one about to be clear cut—a process that actually increases wildfire risk dramatically.

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