Currently viewing the category: "Public Lands"

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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A letter from Richard Spotts, retired Bureau of Land Management employee RE:  Cliven Bundy’s chronic trespass grazing must end and how to do it   Dear Secretary Haaland and other DOI officials:  

Cliven Bundy’s more than a quarter century of blatant and destructive trespass livestock grazing on federal lands must come to an end.  Enough […]

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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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The Sonoran Desert National Monument was established in 2001 with very specific terms about how grazing should be managed on these lands. The Proclamation basically said that grazing should be permanently banned from parts of the monument and could only continue on portions of the monument where it was found to be compatible with resource […]

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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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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