Posts by: George Wuerthner

A forest stand on the Deschutes NF which has been ecologically damaged by logging. Note the absence of tree age diversity, lack of dead wood and snags, and any shrub layer. This is what the Forest Service and Deschutes Collaborative calls a “healthy” forest. Ecologically speaking this is a human-caused disaster. (Photo by George Wuerthner)

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The Fish and Wildlife Service will soon be reviewing a Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) for Oregon’s Deschutes River written by contractors working for the Central Oregon irrigators. The HCP will dictate the future of the river.

The goal of the irrigators is to obtain a “get out of jail free” […]

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Fire/Logging Myths

On October 23, 2019 By

MYTH: FUEL BUILD UP IS RESPONSIBLE FOR LARGE BLAZES?

A conventional narrative is that wildfires in the western U.S. are unprecedented and more extensive than in the past. This increase in fire acreage is attributed to “fuel build-up,” presumed to be the result of successful fire suppression. However, such assertions lack context. Compared to the […]

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Photos courtesy of Escalante Watershed Partnership

Among the more egregious recent decisions of the Utah Bureau of Land Management is to open 50,000 acres of the Escalante River within the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument to renewed livestock grazing. The Escalante was so remote that it was the last major river to […]

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Recently the Bridger Teton National Forest (BTNF) released its final record of decision on livestock grazing on the 170,641 acres Upper Green River Allotment. The allotment includes the headwaters of the Green River north of Pinedale, Wyoming.The Upper Green River allotment contains the most superlative wildlife habitat in the entire Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE), yet […]

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The Wallowa-Whitman National Forest is proposing to log the Lostine Wild and Scenic River corridor. The basic justification is to reduce the potential for large wildfires.

Yet according to the Oregon Department of Forestry, in 2019 only  acres 67,795 acres burned in the state, compared to 846,411 acres burned last year. Why the […]

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The Lolo National Forest is proposing to “salvage” log a portion of the 28,000-acre Liberty Burn near Seeley Lake, Montana.

The Forest Service (FS) approved the logging using a categorical exclusion (CE) process. CEs were initially designed to permit the FS to do minor actions like replace an outhouse in a campground or replace signs […]

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Montana Wilderness Deficit

On September 19, 2019 By

Montana has a wilderness deficit. People may be surprised to learn that only 3.4 million acres out of the state’s nearly 94 million acres are congressionally designated wilderness under the 1964 Wilderness Act. There are at least 6.3 million more U.S. Forest Service acres that potentially could be designated as wilderness, as well […]

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The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has launched a massive juniper removal project in Idaho and plans to expand it throughout the Great Basin.

For instance, the BLM is also planning to destroy juniper woodlands in Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument.

Juniper is a common native species that grows in […]

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The New Yorker recently published an article titled Trailblazing plan to fight California Wildfires https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/08/26/a-trailblazing-plan-to-fight-california-wildfires that contain misinformation. I’ve had many people ask me what I thought of the piece. Given the influential nature of the New Yorker itself, I decided to respond here.

The writing is good. There is much that is accurate about […]

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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