Posts by: George Wuerthner

With the recent decision not to list the Greater Sage Grouse under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), and given the overall weak measures in various Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Forest Service (FS) conservation plans, it behooves activists to consider measures that will protect the sage grouse, and its habitat, along with the more […]

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The decision by the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) not to list the Greater Sage Grouse under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) was an adroit dance of politics. The plan to “save’ the sage grouse has no clothes. The government proposed solution to the bird’s decline includes 14 new sage-grouse recovery plans—consolidated from 98 […]

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A recent article in the Science section of the New York Times seemed to reiterate some of the common misunderstandings about wildfire.  While there are parts of the article that I certainly agree with, the implicit message that large wildfires are ecologically destructive and that thinning forests will save them is questionable.


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Stephen Corry is the founder and director of Survival International, an organization that seeks to protect tribal people’s rights. While a worthy goal, Corry, unfortunately, seeks to blame conservation for many of the ills facing tribal people, rather than recognizing that conservation is ultimately the best way to retain and protect native culture from the […]

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Oregon Congressman’s Greg Walden’s (other western legislators also are sponsors)  support of the so-called Resilient Federal Forests Act is based on faulty assumptions. The Resilient Federal Forests Act will actually decrease forest resilience. Here’s a link to Walden’s position on the Act. Here’s just a few of the problems. Walden asserts that if […]

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The article below has many important points from the Antiplanner that I believe are quite accurate.

The FS spends almost a thousand dollars per acre trying to control fires. This is due to the absolutely insane response of the agency to fire.

First, most fires self extinguish without any control, yet we waste money jumping […]

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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.

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

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October 2015
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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