From the monthly archives: October 2023

Wildness in bison is maintained by evolutionary agents like harsh weather, native predators, competition for forage and mating. Photo George Wuerthner 

Many bison advocates assert that bison have been “saved” from extinction because approximately half a million animals are now found in zoos, ranches, tribal reservations, state parks, national parks, and […]

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The idea that frequent low-severity blazes as practiced by Native American removes litter but does not kill trees and thus can preclude large blazes is widely promoted by media, the Forest Service and others. Photo George Wuerthner 

The idea that frequent low severity blazes as was practiced by some tribal people can […]

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The Deschutes River upriver from Bend before irrigators have removed water. Photo George Wuerthner 

The Bend Bulletin published a piece “Fish by the hundreds rescued in isolated Deschutes River channel.” The basic message is that volunteers “saved” several thousand fish from death as the water levels in the Deschutes River dropped.


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The notion that fire suppression is the reason for large mega fires ignores the influence of climate/weather on blazes and thus leads to poor public policy.

We are continuously bombarded with the message that 100 years of fire suppression and lack of logging drive large blazes. The fire suppression myth is a […]

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Cattle grazing in the Blue Range Wilderness of New Mexico. Photo George Wuerthner

Anyone who has ever worked on public lands livestock issues knows that modifying the negative impacts of ranching operations, much less eliminating them, is nearly impossible. Domestic livestock grazing even occurs in national parks, national monuments, wilderness areas, and […]

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Giant sequoia at Sequoia National Park, California. Photo George Wuerthner

One significant problem with explaining complex ecological stories is that many journalists are unprepared to interpret scientific research. A recent report in the Washington Post on a University of California Irvine study of wildfire fuels in California’s Sierra Nevada is a classic […]

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Ungrazed juniper and grass in Sutton Mountain Proposed Wilderness, Oregon. Photo George Wuerthner 

One of the most common assertions from the livestock industry and range managers is that juniper is “invading” landscapes, sucking up water that would sustain grasses, and harming wildlife. Of course, these Continue Reading


October 2023


‎"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