Currently viewing the category: "Wildfire"

Thinned lodgepole pine forest on Oregon’s Deschutes National Forest. As often is the case, thinning puts more “fine” fuels on the ground which can promote fire spread. Photo George Wuerthner 

Montana Senator Daines announced that he intends to reintroduce wildfire legislation co-sponsored by California Senator Diane Feinstein that, among other things, would […]

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Large blazes like the Camp Fire which leveled this McDonald’s in Paradise CA are driven by extreme fire weather, particularly wind. Active forest management including thinning and prescribe fire does nothing to prevent such blazes. Photo George Wuerthner 

Recently California Governor Newsom came out with a proposed fire budget of over […]

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Northern Spotted Owl Photo US FWS

A couple of years ago, I attended a meeting of the Deschutes Collaborative. Spotted Owls and wildfire was the topic that day. The meeting was a classic example of how collaboratives selectively use science to justify more logging of our forests.

The two-hour meeting featured a […]

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Rural subdivision in Gallatin County, Montana. Photo George Wuerthner

Back when I was a student at the University of Montana in Missoula, I had a girlfriend who managed to rent a house adjacent to the Bitterroot Mountains near Hamilton. All of us were very jealous of her luck in obtaining a place […]

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To many foresters and others who advocate for “active forest management,” a fire that results in high tree mortality is considered evidence of an “unhealthy” forest. Photo George Wuerthner 

This past week I was invited to present my views on forest health and fire ecology to a group of Washington State […]

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Foresters want to remove large old-growth fir trees greater than 21 inches from the Blue Mountain Ecosystems in the name of forest restoration. Photo George Wuerthner 

Institutional bias doesn’t just exist in race relationships. The Forest Service and Forestry Schools have been the handmaiden of the timber industry for so long […]

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Previously logged and thinned forest that burned at high severity in the Jocko Lakes Fire, Montana. Photo George Wuerthner

There are daily news stories about the recent large wildfires in 2020. In nearly all of these media accounts, the large blazes are almost always attributed to a lack of active forest management. […]

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Lodgepole pine forests like these in the South Plateau Timber sale tend to burn at fire rotations of hundreds of years, yet the FS wants to log them to preclude a future fire that may not occur for a century or more. Photo George Wuerthner

The Custer Gallatin National Forest proposes to […]

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High elevation forests like the mountain hemlock seen here at Crater Lake have long intervals between fires. They only burn when there is the right combination of climate/weather. Fire suppression has had little influence on such forests. Photo George Wuerthner

The recent piece published in the December 22 Guardian titled: […]

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If cattle graze to bare soil, it is true that fires are slowed under such conditions, but the ecological impacts are enormous. Photo George Wuerthner 

When I worked for the BLM, us “ologists” (hydrologist, ecologists, biologists, archaeologists, geologists, and botanists) used to refer to Range Conservationists as Range “Cons” because they conned […]

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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