Currently viewing the category: "Wildfire"

Looking down Cache Creek from Republic Pass, Yellowstone NP, WY

 

One of the many excuses used to justify “thinning” and logging today is to preclude massive wildfires. Notwithstanding, there is considerable evidence that such actions do not impede large fires, which only occur during extreme fire weather; people still use this as an […]

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Note the lack of plant diversity on the left side of the path which was “treated” to “restore” the forest. Photos by George Wuerthner

These two images display a recent example of a forest “restoration” project designed to improve the “health” of a ponderosa pine forest. The area to the […]

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The Medicine Bow National Forest is proposing to implement the  Landscape Vegetation Analysis (LaVA) Project, one of the most massive logging operations in the lower 48 states.  As much as 320,000 acres (an area bigger than Grand Teton National Park) will be “treated” by logging and other “vegetation” manipulations. http://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=51255

In the 1970s, the Targhee […]

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Caption: Above Cheatgrass invades fuel break cleared along road in Oregon. Bottom: Fuel break created in Idaho’s Snake River Plain. Photos by George Wuerthner

The Department of Interior released a final decision to created 11,000 miles of linear cheatgrass corridors, which they are euphemistically calling “fuel breaks.” Think […]

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The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is rewriting its grazing regulations to allow more “flexibility” into range management. The agency even proposes increases in grazing seasons and numbers. All of this, of course, is the result of the pressure from the fox (Trump administration) guarding the hen house.

I think most career […]

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In recent weeks, misinformed Douglas County politicians have expressed opposition to the 500,000 acre Crater Lake Wilderness proposal based on the misguided belief that wilderness designation poses a wildfire threat. They argue that “active management,” meaning logging, can preclude or prevent such blazes. But this demonstrates a fundamental failure to understand fire ecology.

Just as […]

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The recent Durango Herald article about the proposal for aggressive logging of Southwest Colorado Forests supported by the Rocky Mountain Restorative Initiative (RMRI) is a classic example of the Industrial Forestry worldview. https://durangoherald.com/articles/306885

The (RMRI) implies that trees killed by drought, beetles, or anything other than a chainsaw are somehow abnormal.  Not surprisingly, the membership […]

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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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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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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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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