The East Shell Rock fire in the Jarbidge Wilderness of extreme northern Nevada was allowed to burn for “ecological benefits,”* but it burned well outside the Wilderness, destroying some of the last sagebrush stands suitable for sage grouse in the area.

There is suspicion that was done to help powerful ranchers, who want more grass and no troublesome species around.

It’s odd to be on the same side as Nevada’s anti-conservation governor.

Nevada governor chides Forest Service over fire. By Martin Griffith.  Associated Press Writer

* It’s important to remember that nowadays in the interior West as far as wildlife habitat goes, forest fires are usually neutral to good and range fires usually bad.

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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 President of the Western Watersheds Project.

One Response to Nevada governor chides Forest Service over letting East Shell Rock fire burn

  1. avatar Maska says:

    Hi, Ralph,

    I’m interested in your comment above regarding the ecological benefits of forest fires and the ecological downside of range fires in the interior West. I’m familiar with the benefits of forest fires, but pretty ignorant on the range fire question–especially with regard to sagebrush ecosystems.

    Can you post some links to papers or articles on the effects of range fires in the interior West?

    Thanks!

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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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