Warm winters harm conifers in many ways leaving them open to insect attack. Presently insects are killing millions of acres of trees in Alaska. See article by Dan Joling, Associated Press.

What the article doesn’t say it, this is not just happening in Alaska. It is happening throughout the West. British Columbia has an even bigger infestation, and the Western states are all fighting insects. The tress are dying, and they are burning to the double whammy of insects and drought.

The result will be just what you would expect on a warming planet — the forests will be replaced by grasslands.

Sept. 13. There is another article just out on this in the Idaho Mountain Express by Steve Benson. “Why is 2006 fire season so severe?”

 
About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He has been a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and also its President. For many years he produced Ralph Maughan's Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of "Hiking Idaho." He also wrote "Beyond the Tetons" and "Backpacking Wyoming's Teton and Washakie Wilderness." He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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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

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