Fires, which are a natural part of that ecosystem, were generally small — not just benign but beneficial. Land management focused on keeping the forest healthy for all involved, whether they were loggers, ranchers, fishermen, hunters, homeowners, or backpackers.
But then things started to change. Groups such as the Sierra Club and National Resources Defense Council began to drive a myopic agenda of protecting environmental interests at all costs. Logging was shut down. Grazing was banned. Controlled burning and undergrowth clearance were challenged and subjected to draconian regulations.