You wrote; 'we do need large tracts of *contiguous* forested land'.
Yet there are more forests in America now than before the Europeans came here! When the Europeans were first starting to come over in the 1600s, it was noted that the forests were like parks - as the Europeans of that day knew them. The natives would burn out the brush in spring and chop down trees to keep spaces clear and prevent the forests from being thickly overgrown. Once the Europeans pushed the natives futher west this practice stopped and the forests were thick with thin trees and terribley overrun with scrub. The enviros Ive come in contact with always take humans out of the enviromental equation when we are here to manage the forests and not leave it up to Gaia as to how they should look and grow. The natives understood forest management and these practices should be restored.
Also, what about in fire prone areas? Shouldn't there be wide breaks in between to prevent an enormous wildfires from happening? It's very difficult to protect towns that are surrounded by fire prone flora. This issue seems to escape those who call for more forested areas. Or do we just get rid of those towns? Shut them up and move them? People have a right to live where they choose and protect their communities how they see fit. All this government interference does no one good. Plus, most envoros I met are exceedingly greedy. Give then a tract of land to leave to Gaia and they'll want a hundred more that encroach on established towns.
Otherwise, you've written a very good post. Admittedly, I have a 'thing' about increasing the wildfire risk.
If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.
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