Posts by: George Wuerthner

Another new study titled “Does wildfire likelihood increase following insect outbreaks in conifer forests?”  by Garrent Meigs and co authors concludes that bark beetles outbreaks do not lead to greater likelihood of fires. This research joins a growing list of studies, all using different methods of evaluation, that finds that bark beetles are not a driving […]

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One of the justifications for logging by the Forest Service around the West is the idea that fire suppression has led to fewer fires, and thus greater fuel build up than historically occurred. Therefore, mechanically reducing fuels—i.e. logging—is reasonable because otherwise we will see large wildfires.

 

However, both assumptions—namely there is fuel build up […]

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Recently GOP Presidential Candidate Scott Walker suggested he might be ready to begin war on his first day of office, presumably against Iran.  Walker’s bellicose chest-beating is in response to the recent agreement the Obama administration brokered with Iran to limit its nuclear capabilities.

But Walker’s rhetoric also demonstrates a failure to understand what really […]

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Zack Strong
Montana Office NRDC
Bozeman, Montana

Dear Zack,

I just read the article in NRDC’s On Earth about the JBarL ranch in Montana’s Centennial Valley. As the Montana representative, I suspect you had a hand in helping to promote this article.

http://www.onearth.org/earthwire/montana-cattle-ranching-wolves

Now I know you didn’t write the piece, […]

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The following is commentary from Phil Cafaro, professor at Colorado State University that are germane to all of us who value wildlands, wildlife and a functioning environment. Below are portions of the Pope Francis speech and Phil’s commentary in italics.

Dear Colleagues,

There is a lot to chew on in the Pope’s encyclical letter, released […]

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This is ironic. Hunters and livestock owners complain that wolves are decimating elk herds and livestock. Yet the state finds it has too many elk. Of course, some of those abundant elk are in the eastern part of the state where there are few wolves, but much of the western part of the state is […]

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Politicians complain of cost then support the wrong solution — more logging The timber industry, politicians and others bemoan the growing cost of firefighting in the West. The proposed solution is more logging of forests in the belief that thinning will reduce the occurrence of large fires and protect communities. However, there are a host […]

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Both the article Range of Possibilities by Kelly Cash, followed up by the pro-livestock piece Public Lands Need Cattle to Meet Conservation Goals by Sheila Barry which appeared in Bay Nature Magazine  imply that livestock production is an overall positive activity for California public lands and wildlife.

 

The pro livestock articles can be found here: Continue Reading

This past week, Public Broadcasting’s Nature film series featured the Sagebrush Sea.  The film’s main focus was on the Greater Sage Grouse which is the emblematic creature found in this vast landscape that covers the bulk of many western states including substantial parts of New Mexico Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, Oregon, California, Montana and Idaho.

[…]

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A growing debate has serious consequences for our collective relationship to Nature. Beginning perhaps twenty years ago, a number of academics in disciplines such as history, anthropology, and geography, began to question whether there was any tangible wilderness or wild lands left on Earth. These academics, and others, have argued that humans have so completely […]

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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