Currently viewing the category: "California"

 

Ponderosa pine forest experiences a “light burn” or “low severity” fire that does not kill the mature trees but reduces “fuels”. Photo George Wuerthner

In almost all media reports about the recent fire seasons, one of the chief explanations given for the larger blazes is “fire suppression” and “fuel build-up.”

We […]

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The wind-driven pattern of fire in the 1988 Yellowstone fires. Photo George Wuerthner

A new documentary titled The West Is Burning continues to promote a flawed narrative that large blazes are a consequence of “fire suppression” and “fuel build-up.”  Starting from this perspective, it promotes policies like thinning the forest and prescribed […]

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Old-growth forest like this on Admiralty Island, Tongass National Forest should be protected as a carbon reserve. Photo by George Wuerthner 

The Biden Administration supports protecting 30% of US lands by 2030 or what is termed the 30 x 30 proposal.  One of the best ways to meet that 30 by 30 […]

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Forest Service using drip torch for prescribed burning. Photo by George Wuerthner 

There has been a spate of articles in various newspapers and magazines, asserting that if the Forest Service were following burning practices of Indigenous people, the massive wildfires we have seen around the West would be tamed.

Here are some […]

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The Clear Lake National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) is likely not on everyone’s radar. The refuge lies on the California-Oregon border to the southwest of Klamath Falls, Oregon. Part of the Klamath Basin National Refuge system, Clear Lake, is one of many natural lakes in the area that are important staging areas for migratory waterfowl on […]

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The National Park Service has released its management plan for Agriculture in the Point Reyes National Seashore. That is right—agriculture in a national park system unit. The decision to continue livestock production in Point Reyes National Seashore demonstrates once again why allowing any commercial resource use in our parklands compromises the primary goals of our […]

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The influence of fire suppression is exaggerated. The idea that there was a “hundred years” of fire suppression ignores the fact that in the early 1920s and 1930s as much as 50 million acres burned annually. Furthermore, climate controls fires, as indicated by the cool, moist decades between the 1940s-1980s. Courtesy of […]

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Juniper removal below Abert Rim, Oregon Photo by George Wuerthner

 

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is now taking comments on a massive vegetation project for the Great Basin and adjacent areas of the Colorado Plateau. The PEIS for Fuels Reduction and Rangeland Restoration in the Great Basin (the Fuels Reduction and […]

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The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is rewriting its grazing regulations to allow more “flexibility” into range management. The agency even proposes increases in grazing seasons and numbers. All of this, of course, is the result of the pressure from the fox (Trump administration) guarding the hen house.

I think most career […]

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The New Yorker recently published an article titled Trailblazing plan to fight California Wildfires https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/08/26/a-trailblazing-plan-to-fight-california-wildfires that contain misinformation. I’ve had many people ask me what I thought of the piece. Given the influential nature of the New Yorker itself, I decided to respond here.

The writing is good. There is much that is accurate about […]

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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