Posts by: George Wuerthner

Record temperatures across the West, including a record 121 degrees in southern California by Los Angeles. Massive wildfires charring millions of acres including record large blazes in Oregon, Colorado, Arizona, and California, with the smoke that spread across the entire West. Half of the country is experiencing “severe drought”. Hurricanes ravage the Southeast. Do we […]

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The Clear Lake National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) is likely not on everyone’s radar. The refuge lies on the California-Oregon border to the southwest of Klamath Falls, Oregon. Part of the Klamath Basin National Refuge system, Clear Lake, is one of many natural lakes in the area that are important staging areas for migratory waterfowl on […]

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The commentary by the Greater Yellowstone Coalition in the October 10th Bozeman Chronicle “Together we can tackle the fire issue” was another example of how the organization sees its role as a shill of the livestock industry.

The misinformation presented on sagebrush, juniper, and Doug fir “invasion” in southwest Montana lacks critical scientific expertise and […]

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The National Park Service has released its management plan for Agriculture in the Point Reyes National Seashore. That is right—agriculture in a national park system unit. The decision to continue livestock production in Point Reyes National Seashore demonstrates once again why allowing any commercial resource use in our parklands compromises the primary goals of our […]

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Senators Steve Daines of Montana and Diane Feinstein of California have once again introduced legislation, the “Emergency Wildfire and Public Safety Act of 2020” that is based upon misguided assumptions that fuel reductions will preclude the large blazes occurring as the West.

Never mind that climate change is the driving force in all these fires […]

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The influence of fire suppression is exaggerated. The idea that there was a “hundred years” of fire suppression ignores the fact that in the early 1920s and 1930s as much as 50 million acres burned annually. Furthermore, climate controls fires, as indicated by the cool, moist decades between the 1940s-1980s. Courtesy of […]

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Due to gross similarities in size, food preference, and appearance, it is often asserted that bison and domestic cattle are ecological analogs. However, a review of their evolutionary history demonstrates that they have significant differences in evolutionary pressures that manifest themselves in strikingly different modes of resource exploitation.

Compared to domestic cattle, bison wander […]

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Cattle grazing in the Mojave Desert, California. Photo by George Wuerthner

Livestock advocates often state that cattle and sheep have merely “replaced” the native herbivores. And since plants are “adapted” to herbivory from native grazers, then “obviously” livestock grazing is compatible with ecosystem preservation. Some even go so far to claim that […]

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The Lake Plateau, part of the 900,000-acre plus Absaroka Beartooth Wilderness. Photo by George Wuerthner

Years ago, I moved to Livingston, Montana. Livingston strategically lies at the northwest corner of the Custer Gallatin National Forest’s Absaroka Beartooth Wilderness (known as AB Wilderness). One of the factors that attracted me to Livingston was the AB Wilderness. […]

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The recent article “Low Flows On Deschutes” highlights why irrigation is a significant threat to our river’s ecological integrity. https://www.bendbulletin.com/localstate/environment/sudden-drops-in-deschutes-river-worries-biologists/article_c0f8df66-e3df-11ea-8d00-53d8f511683c.html

The majority of water removed from the Deschutes is used to grow irrigated pasture and hay for livestock not crops consumed directly by humans.  Photo by George Wuerthner

 

According to […]

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Quote

‎"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