Tough Love and other medicines; part one

We do not much like it when someone says that they warned us long ago, ahead of  an event, that something bad might happen. And then they do that stupid little dance and some gloating when that bad thing happens. Do you now someone like that? In this immediate area, there are legions of people who publicly stated that our forests were too overgrown & full of fuel and future wildfires just waiting for the right conditions. Conditions like we have right now (drought as bad as any in the last 100 years – high and gusty winds).  There are two wildfires directly affecting the Santa Fe area plus the monster fires in Arizona have also left their mark on us with the smoky air. Almost everyone knows someone personally that has had to evacuate the township of Los Alamos that suffered greatly only just 11 years ago. And now they have this new fire right on the edge of town (and the boundary of the Los Alamos National Labs sprawling campus).  So why does it matter and what good is it to look back and think maybe we should have paid more attention to the warnings? That our nearby forested areas needed thinning was a given. But some seemed to think that cutting down even one tree is just plain wrong. So, get this, better to let thousands if not millions of trees burn because we could not stand up to the opponents of thinning the forests? I know, it was always a money question too, but was it really better to suffer the economic losses of a raging wildfire and have thousands displaced and many others in grave danger trying to control the fire, than to spend money earlier to thin those overgrown forests? Why are there always more questions than answers?

There is no guaranty that thinning would have helped, but it likely would have and it could not possibly have made things any worse. Will one of these forest fires be a wake up call for us to improve our management of public lands? Or will we need to lose more homes and suffer more financial hardship while we eventually and inevitably deal with the big one? And what is the big one? Picture the vast majority of the Pecos Wilderness going up in flames. Look out Memphis, Cedar Rapids and Cleveland; the smoke is headed your way.

And in the sometimes interesting world of Santa Fe residential real estate, there were those who said this real estate problem we seem to have was not going to solve itself. There was a call for original and creative action to forestall the national real estate crisis and keep Santa Fe out of the worst of it. Very few listened or even were willing to believe that we would have to struggle for years (and how many more years yet to come?) just to get back to those heady days of the 2004 to 2006 lightning round of real estate transactions. Are we there yet? Are you kidding? That medicine has not been invented yet. Whatever will get us out of this slump; sellers holding on to dreams of home values and buyers waiting until they smell real estate blood, has not yet been designed, tested or produced. Dare I say it? The big banks and the new governmental programs are not helping.

I have some nice homilies about what we should have done 3 plus years ago and you know, it really is not too late. If we had consistent growth and/or month over month improvement, one could argue there was no need for some new miracle medicine. Others could say the damn medicine will only treat the symptoms anyway; that we need an effective cure!

What do you propose?   What could that cure be?         …to be continued…  as Tough Love and other medicines; part two


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