Posts by: George Wuerthner

Restoration of wild bison will require large landscapes. Photo George Wuerthner

Bison were critical ecosystem influences on grasslands of North America, particularly in the Great Plains “bison belt.” They provided prey or carrion for wolves, grizzlies, other smaller predators and scavengers, and food for humans. In addition, bison grazing patterns influenced vegetation […]

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The Upper Green River Valley and Wind River Range from the Elk Ridge grazing complex in the Gros Ventre Range. Photo George Wuerthner. 

In a breach of trust and faith, the Bridger Teton National Forest (BTNF) proposes to stock 30,577 acres with cattle in the Elk Ridge area of the Gros Ventre […]

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Allen River,  Gates of the Arctic National Park, Alaska. Photo George Wuerthner 

Hats off to High Country News for publishing A quest for Alaska oil sparks a fight over tribal sovereignty by Max Graham in their July 6th edition. It represents a good start in providing a more balanced perspective on […]

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Thinning Nuance

On July 6, 2021 By

 

Thinning is often justified on the assumption that reducing “fuels” will slow or stop large blazes, but there is more nuance to the issue than just fuels. Photo George Wuerthner

One frequently hears from proponents of thinning that active forest management can reduce fire intensity and thus is a beneficial policy […]

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The Sonoran Desert National Monument was designated in 2001, but livestock grazing persisted until 2015. Now the BLM wants to restock a portion of this national monument. Photo George Wuerthner 

The Sonoran Desert National Monument is a spectacular representation of the Sonoran Desert landscape managed by the Arizona office of the Bureau […]

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One hears continuously that the Forest Service doesn’t clearcut anymore. Of course, what constitutes a clearcut is subject to interpretation. The following photos are all taken on the Deschutes NF in Oregon. These are “forest thinning” projects designed to reduce wildfires and “improve” forest health. How many trees do you need to leave behind so […]

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The North Bridger Range is a proposed wilderness. Photo George Wuerthner 

In an article in the Bozeman Chronicle about the North Bridger Timber sale, the Forest Service justifies logging the forests based on what it calls “forest health”. The agency claims logging will “restore” resiliency.  But few ask what exactly constitutes a […]

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Wildflowers along the North Fork of the Salmon River near Salmon, Idaho. Photo George Wuerthner

High Country News tries to portray itself as a source of environmental news, but reporting on wildfire issues often leaves much to be desired.

In its recent June 1, 2021 article Wildfire and A Forest Worth Fighting […]

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Bison herd. Photo George Wuerthner

Many authors today suggest that Indigenous people somehow behaved differently from other humans, particularly western culture that now dominates the globe in their relationship and exploitation of natural lands. The general theme is that while the human influence pre-European contact was significant, human exploitation was tempered […]

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Post-fire logging (deceptively termed “salvage”)  after the Pole Creek Fire on Deschutes NF removes carbon, biomass and degrades forest ecosystems. Photo George Wuerthner

In a recent May 29 Bend Bulletin article, Senator Merkley asserted he “wants to boost spending on forest management by $1 billion annually through work, such as thinning and […]

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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