Well, the Forest Service will not be able to fill its airplanes with fire retardant at the Troutdale Airport until some trees are removed from the end of the runway.

The Port of Portland was notified three years ago that the trees were becoming a problem and needed to be dealt with. The port was too busy during this time attempting to force a pollution problem on the west end of the gorge with the inter-model transportation system to worry about a few trees.

Now that urgency is at hand, Multnomah County inspectors will take a look at the tree-cutting permit on a first-come, first-served basis. Then the permit process is handed over to the Columbia Gorge Commission. (What's the first thing that comes to mind when you think of this collection of people?)

Bureaucracy at its finest. I don't think there is a thimble full of common sense in this whole bunch. While these Nero wannabes fiddle, what happens if there is a fire in the gorge with our 40-mph winds? The planes carrying the fire retardant have to reload in Medford or Prineville, a few hundred miles away, meanwhile all the bureaucrats involved will be wringing their hands trying to blame another group of bureaucrats.

The only solution to this situation is more government. That'll fix it.



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