Rocky Barker’s blog today fleshes out what a lot of people are talking about right now in Idaho, Nevada, Montana, and Utah — the coming forest fire season.

The winter had below normal precipitation and the spring was generally dry. Dry springs actually reduce the range fire potential because the flammable seasonal grasses don’t grow as tall, but the the heavy fuels — logs and standing trees, will be very flammable beginning in mid-June. Couple this with the many insect attacks on the forests, and things could explode.

Rocky Barker’s blog: Don’t plan on a lot of campfires this summer.

Barker wrote an excellent book on forest fires and their role in the development of the public land agencies and their philosophies. I used it in my public lands politics class one semester. A review of his book and similar ones appeared in the Washington Post.

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is past President of the Western Watersheds Project and the creator of The Wildlife News.

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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