Currently viewing the tag: "Wildfire"

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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In a message on wildfires I just got from Congressman Greg Walden, he asserts, “A lack of management has left us with overstocked federal forests full of fuel just waiting to burn.” Unfortunately, his statement is full of misinformation.

He neglects to put this into context. In the decades between the 1940s and 1980s, the […]

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Recently it was announced by Montana Senator Steven Daines that he plans to introduce a bipartisan bill with Senator Diane Feinstein of California to protect communities from wildfire.

The senators are concerned that wildfire season is getting worse and large fires are a threat to communities. On both counts, the senators are correct. However, the […]

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Recently Nevada Bureau of Land Management (BLM) State  Director Jon Raby suggested that the agency will try “targeted grazing” among other methods to reduce wildfires in the sagebrush ecosystem. Raby says the BLM is implementing this action “because of the threat of annual invasive grasses, specifically cheatgrass, play in altering fire regime conditions that intensify […]

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In June the BLM released a draft EIS Programmatic EIS for Fuel Breaks in the Great Basin. The proposal would authorize the creation of 11,000 miles of fuel breaks primarily in sagebrush ecosystems across parts of Nevada, California, Utah, Idaho, Washington, and Oregon. https://eplanning.blm.gov/epl-front-office/projects/nepa/71149/175534/213852/FuelBreaksDraftPEIS_Bulletin.pdf

This plan is a government boondoggle that will cost […]

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Governor Bullock recently created the Montana Forest Action Advisory Council that is biased towards logging and is dominated by timber industry interests and supporters to “reduce wildfire risk.”

I don’t expect the Governor to be an expert on wildfire or forest ecology, but it is clear from the makeup of his council that its […]

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We live in an age of Orwellian Doublespeak. Such doublespeak is exemplified by the euphemistically named “Resilient Federal Forests Act” (RFFA) sponsored by Rep. Westerman. Like previous versions, Westerman asserts RFFA will reduce massive wildfires and smoke, and promote more “resilient” forests.

In the name of fire reduction, RFFA is a Trojan Horse designed to […]

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The April 25th article in the Yakima Herald “Fewer low-intensity fires means more severe fires”  quotes Ryan Haugo, director of conservation science at The Nature Conservancy and contained many misstatements that lack context about wildfires. https://www.yakimaherald.com/news/local/study-low-intensity-fires-way-down-in-northwest-s-dry/article_aef38135-95ca-5689-aaab-5fc9906c3818.html  

It is possible that Haugo stated more ideas and simply wasn’t quoted in the article, but since he […]

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Dead. Most of us have negative associations with the word. After all how did Death Valley get its name? Not because it was a favorite vacation spot for prospectors. Is anyone interested in fishing the Dead Sea? And when we say someone looks like “death warmed over” it’s not usually taken as a compliment. […]

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Voodoo forest science

On December 5, 2018 By

A hundred years ago or so there was a pseudo-science that focused on measurements of the human skull known as phrenology. Phrenology was based on the flawed assumption that skull size was indicative of intelligence. These studies demonstrated and confirmed that men had larger skulls and thus were smarter than women. The only problem was […]

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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