Posts by: George Wuerthner

The Ecological Importance of Mixed Severity Fires: Nature’s Phoenix Edited by Dominick DellaSala and Chad Hanson.

340 pages $89.95

This important new collection of essays in The Ecological Importance of Mixed-Severity Fires presents some of the latest research and thinking about wildfires by some of the most respected fire ecologists and other thinkers in the […]

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A common assertion, oft repeated by the timber industry, the Forest Service, and even far too many conservation groups (like The Nature Conservancy) is that a hundred years of fire suppression has contributed to the large wildfires we are seeing around the West.

The logic goes like this. […]

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I sent the following note to reporter Sarah Kaplan responding to a news report in the Washington Post.

Hi Sarah:

Just read your piece in the Washington Post on wildfire. You did a good job of capturing the grief that accompanies the death of fire fighters and people whose homes are lost, […]

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Another new study published by the Ecological Society of America titled “Does wildfire likelihood increase following insect outbreaks in conifer forests?”  by Garrent Meigs and coauthors 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 […]

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One of the assumptions behind federal legislation like the Resilient Federal Forest Act is that more thinning of our forests will halt or significantly reduce large wildfires. Yet the scientific evidence for such a conclusion is ambiguous at best.

Any number of studies have find that thinning usually fails under severe fire conditions.

First, the […]

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Florida just held its first bear hunt in several decades, targeting 300 of the bruins for death. Just three years ago, the black bear was listed as threatened, and the state’s bears had not been hunted since 1994.

The proximate reason for the hunt is that bears, according to representatives of the Florida Wildlife Commission, […]

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The above link is to an article published by The Nature Conservancy exalting the Malpai Borderlands group in Arizona and New Mexico. You can read the article for a little background on the Malpai group, but the basic story is relatively simple. A very large ranch called the Gray’s Ranch lying along the […]

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Nature Notes: Explaining the new land rules. Elko Daily Free Press. Oct. 10, 2015

SNIP: “Well-managed livestock grazing is compatible with sage-grouse conservation. The plan amendment did not close any grazing allotments or cut any AUMs. During the 10-year grazing permit renewals, management objectives will be put in place to protect habitat and rangeland […]

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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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November 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