From the monthly archives: January 2023

Chaparral and Wildfire

On January 25, 2023 By

Sandstone outcrops and chaparral along  Hurricane Deck, San Rafael Wilderness, Los Padres NF, California. Photo George Wuerthner 

Chaparral is one of California’s most widespread vegetation communities due to the state’s Mediterranean climate of winter precipitation and summer drought. Chaparral is particularly common in the Coast Range, Traverse Ranges, and western slopes of […]

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New road was created for a forest thinning project. Roads are a major location for human ignition. Photo George Wuerthner 

The Biden administration announced it would spend nearly $930 million fighting wildfire in the West. While the plan includes money for everything from hardening homes to paying for more firefighters, the main […]

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High-severity blazes are critical to healthy forest ecosystems. Photo George Wuerthner 

I read yet another study circulated by UC Davis and doggedly promoted by the national media, encouraging more prescribed burning, thinning, and forest manipulation to reduce large high-severity blazes characterized as “bad.”

The headline from UC Davis proclaims that […]

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ABSTRACT: Livestock production occurs in all deserts (except polar deserts). In many desert areas, it is the single most significant human impact. Livestock production includes grazing plants and all associated activities to produce domestic animals. This consists of the dewatering rivers for irrigated forage crops, killing of predators and “pest” species, forage competition between native […]

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Air view of Pedro Bay area on Illiamna Lake, Alaska. Photo George Wuerthner 

In December, the Pedro Bay Native Corporation (PBC) in Alaska placed 44,000 acres of its property under a $20 million conservation easement that may be the nail in the coffin for the proposed Pebble Gold and Copper Mine […]

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When Deb Haaland was nominated for the position of Secretary of Interior, I received dozens of emails from nearly every large conservation organization to support her nomination. She was appointed without having any particular experience or background in public lands issues and limited executive experience in running major federal land management agencies […]

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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