This is hardly the first time this has been discussed, but this article goes into detail about what may be the new summer reality in Idaho and other Rocky Mountain states. I have found the good time for outdoor recreation is May and June, not July to mid-Sept (too much smoke). Folks will need to learn to enjoy the “shoulder seasons” (March-April) and (Oct-Nov) in addition to the winter. Of course, that is not feasible for many.

Idahoans must adapt as wildfire seasons become increasingly treacherous. By Heath Druzin and Rocky Barker. Idaho Statesman

Of course, there is far more to the longer fire season than outdoor recreation, nor is the increasingly long fire season just a phenomenon of Idaho and Montana (the two major fire states in the West this year), but many other states in the U.S. and in other countries. Greece, is a good example, where unprecedented large wildfires have become a big political issue. Read: WWF in despair over Greek fire damage. Rare species of animals and plants lost in flames. Anger rises as developers move in on stricken area. UK Guardian.

It looks like in Greece anti-conservation forces are just as ready to take advantage of the fires as they are in the U.S.

Here is an article about the continued wildfires in the U.S. that are continuing outside of the West where the season is over. Officials see no quick end to the drought and wildfires in Eastern Kentucky. Associated Press

I would not expect many quick innovations. It’s clear the federal and state agencies are not about to change livestock grazing as usual. I don’t see a slow down in the building of homes in remote, expensive to defend locations. Invasive flammable weeds continue to spread. Timber companies will use the fires as an excuse to go in and log the wrong way because they have to make money, not lose money by conducting a fire reduction project such as cutting only the small, crowded trees.

About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time 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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October 2007


‎"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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