Posts by: George Wuerthner

Annual Bison Carnage

On December 6, 2019 By

State, federal and tribal representatives voted again to slaughter 600-900 Yellowstone Park bison this winter. The agencies and tribes use the less offensive sounding euphemism “cull”. But let’s be honest, what happens is nothing more than butchery done to appease the livestock industry.

It is shameful that these agencies and tribes legitimize the annual […]

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The recent commentary by Mark Nelson in the San Francisco Chronicle, who works for the Ag industry, suggesting that grazing by goats and other livestock can help reduce wildfire losses in California deserves qualification.  https://www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/openforum/article/How-goats-can-help-prevent-California-wildfires-14871742.php

As a landscape response to large fires, grazing is no solution. In many ecosystems, particularly in the parts of the […]

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Fish and Wildlife Service

Deschutes River Habitat Conservation Plan comments

The following are comments on the Deschutes Basin Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) are submitted on behalf of Restore Our Deschutes (ROD). The main problem with the HCP is that its starting assumptions are backward. The plan is designed primarily to protect the economic interests of […]

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A forest stand on the Deschutes NF which has been ecologically damaged by logging. Note the absence of tree age diversity, lack of dead wood and snags, and any shrub layer. This is what the Forest Service and Deschutes Collaborative calls a “healthy” forest. Ecologically speaking this is a human-caused disaster. (Photo by George Wuerthner)

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The Fish and Wildlife Service will soon be reviewing a Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) for Oregon’s Deschutes River written by contractors working for the Central Oregon irrigators. The HCP will dictate the future of the river.

The goal of the irrigators is to obtain a “get out of jail free” […]

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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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Photos courtesy of Escalante Watershed Partnership

Among the more egregious recent decisions of the Utah Bureau of Land Management is to open 50,000 acres of the Escalante River within the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument to renewed livestock grazing. The Escalante was so remote that it was the last major river to […]

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Recently the Bridger Teton National Forest (BTNF) released its final record of decision on livestock grazing on the 170,641 acres Upper Green River Allotment. The allotment includes the headwaters of the Green River north of Pinedale, Wyoming.The Upper Green River allotment contains the most superlative wildlife habitat in the entire Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE), yet […]

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The Wallowa-Whitman National Forest is proposing to log the Lostine Wild and Scenic River corridor. The basic justification is to reduce the potential for large wildfires.

Yet according to the Oregon Department of Forestry, in 2019 only  acres 67,795 acres burned in the state, compared to 846,411 acres burned last year. Why the […]

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The Lolo National Forest is proposing to “salvage” log a portion of the 28,000-acre Liberty Burn near Seeley Lake, Montana.

The Forest Service (FS) approved the logging using a categorical exclusion (CE) process. CEs were initially designed to permit the FS to do minor actions like replace an outhouse in a campground or replace signs […]

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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