Currently viewing the category: "Wildfire"

Clearcut and thinning near Susanville, CA failed to halt the spread of the Dixie Fire. Photo George Wuerthner

I recently got a message from Oregon Senator Merkley announcing that he supported more thinning and logging of our forests to reduce large wildfires.

The irony is that logging/thinning is a primary source […]

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This site by Chester, California was treated by thinning and even clearcutting (seen in the background) and later burned in the Dixie Fire. Photo George Wuerthner 

A recent article in the Los Angeles Times on November 8th  (Prescribed burns are crucial to reducing wildfire risks) Los Angeles Times highlights a […]

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Subsidized logging in the name of fuel reductions on the Deschutes National Forest in Oregon. Logging accounts for 35% of Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Oregon. Photo George Wuerthner 

Congress just passed the big infrastructure bill, and I expect President Biden will sign it—maybe before you read this commentary.

Funding is for […]

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Prescribed fire and cultural burning by Native Americans is often promoted as a means of reducing large blazes across the West. There are many reasons to question such assumptions. Photo George Wuerthner 

Here are seven articles (attached below) from today’s news cycle. They promote the idea that our forests need to be […]

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Prescribed burning is often seen as a way to reduce to the large climate-driven blazes now occurring across the West, however, there are many problems that proponents fail to acknowledge. Photo George Wuerthner

It seems everyone is grasping for some “solution” to big fires. And one of the common assertions is that […]

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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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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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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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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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The aftermath of the Las Conchas  Blaze in 2011 in the Jemez Mountains of New Mexico. Photo George Wuerthner 

 

An excellent overview of wildfire issues was published in the Revelator. https://therevelator.org/wildfire-archive/

I encourage folks to review it.

I especially appreciate the linkage of recent large fires to drought 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