Davis Law Group's Law & Justice Scholarship Essay Contest - Ethan Rehmeier

Ethan Rehmeier is currently a freshman at the Central New Mexico Community College. His decision to major in Criminal Justice was driven by the State of New Mexico’s need for more defense attorneys.

I am writing about the hazard of dead trees in national parks and forests[1] [2].  There are too many dead trees in places such as Fourth of July Canyon[3] and Sandia[4]. The dead trees are a hazard because they make forest fires much more likely to happen and much more often since New Mexico is extremely hot in the Summer, it doesn't rain very often, and in the Winter we rarely get snow(and when we do get snow it rarely snows in large amounts. Controlled Burns are sometimes set but often they change from Controlled Burns into forest fires. I am trying to make an important point here: this hazard of all these dead trees causes the danger of forest fires, and when a forest fire occurs, no matter how big, it causes there to be more dead trees and results in going around in this circle again. I believe that it would be better to go and chop down dead trees that are in extremely large amounts rather than use Controlled Burns because it would be safer for people who live in surrounding areas, it would lessen the risk of forest fires being caused by Controlled Burns, and it could also be good for the economy[5] [6]. believe that Controlled Burns are alright to use if they are used in areas that are not going to endanger anyone who lives in the area where the Controlled Burn is being used if the Controlled Burn gets out of hand, if the weather is not going to have an effect on the Controlled Burn, and if the environment is not going cause a Controlled Burn to be dangerous. It is the State[7] who should be responsible to fix the hazard of dead trees in national parks and forests. The National Forest Service should be responsible to fix this hazard because it is their job to keep track of the plants and animals that live in the forest, and if there are any problems involving them to deal with them. I am not suggesting that the National Forest Service has to fix the hazard of dead trees by themselves, but I am saying that it should be their responsibility. For example: as long as it was the National Forest Service paying people they could hire people to cut trees if they did not have enough people who worked for the National Forest Service available to cut trees, or they could also ask for volunteers. Another thing that the National Forest Service could do would be to have Forest Rangers patrolling forests and national parks daily to make sure that people do not litter[8] since littering is not only against the law, but when matches or cigarettes are littered it raises the risk of a forest fire starting. So, my Conclusion is that we should try to avoid preventing fires by using fires as often as we can not only for safety reasons but also to help make a slight difference in the economy.


[1] I live in New Mexico, in the East Mountains, in Sandia Park.

[2] The County I live in is Bernalillo.

[3] Fourth of July Canyon is a national park that is in a forest, but while you drive there, along the road there are hundreds of dead trees that are dry and grey and there are also dead trees within the Fourth of July Canyon.

[4] Sandia is a mountain in the area where I live.

[5] The chopped wood could be sold or given away by the National Forest Service to be sold as firewood, used for building supplies, building furniture, etc.

[6] If the National Forest Service did sell the chopped wood then they could use the money they made from that to: pay for some way to make water more easily available to forests and national parks, buy gear or vehicles for firefighting and preventing forest fires, paying people who they might need to hire to cut trees.

[7] The National Forest Service's

[8] I believe that if the Forest Rangers did find someone littering that they should be allowed to make that person pick up their litter, and also either do some kind of service to the national park or forest that that person was in for a certain period of time or pay a fine for littering in a national park, part of the money from the fine would go to the State of New Mexico and part of it to the National Forest Service.

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