Currently viewing the category: "Wildfire"

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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In June, the Bureau of Land Management announced its draft plan to carve 11,000 miles of fuel breaks into the fragile Great Basin landscape. The agency is forging ahead with this plan despite recent scientific paper concluding that there is a lack of empirical evidence validating the effectiveness of fuel breaks in reducing fire […]

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In a message on wildfires I just got from Congressman Greg Walden, he asserts, “A lack of management has left us with overstocked federal forests full of fuel just waiting to burn.” Unfortunately, his statement is full of misinformation.

He neglects to put this into context. In the decades between the 1940s and 1980s, the […]

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Recently it was announced by Montana Senator Steven Daines that he plans to introduce a bipartisan bill with Senator Diane Feinstein of California to protect communities from wildfire.

The senators are concerned that wildfire season is getting worse and large fires are a threat to communities. On both counts, the senators are correct. However, the […]

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Recently Nevada Bureau of Land Management (BLM) State  Director Jon Raby suggested that the agency will try “targeted grazing” among other methods to reduce wildfires in the sagebrush ecosystem. Raby says the BLM is implementing this action “because of the threat of annual invasive grasses, specifically cheatgrass, play in altering fire regime conditions that intensify […]

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In June the BLM released a draft EIS Programmatic EIS for Fuel Breaks in the Great Basin. The proposal would authorize the creation of 11,000 miles of fuel breaks primarily in sagebrush ecosystems across parts of Nevada, California, Utah, Idaho, Washington, and Oregon. https://eplanning.blm.gov/epl-front-office/projects/nepa/71149/175534/213852/FuelBreaksDraftPEIS_Bulletin.pdf

This plan is a government boondoggle that will cost […]

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The recent article on juniper mortality in central Oregon demonstrates how most forestry professors have little ecological understanding of ecosystem processes nor even the latest ecological science. https://www.registerguard.com/news/20190530/fire-suppression-drought-increasing-mortality-among-central-oregon-trees

In the RG article,  an Oregon State University forestry professor suggests a lack of low severity fires is contributing to overly dense juniper stands which […]

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Governor Bullock recently created the Montana Forest Action Advisory Council that is biased towards logging and is dominated by timber industry interests and supporters to “reduce wildfire risk.”

I don’t expect the Governor to be an expert on wildfire or forest ecology, but it is clear from the makeup of his council that its […]

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We live in an age of Orwellian Doublespeak. Such doublespeak is exemplified by the euphemistically named “Resilient Federal Forests Act” (RFFA) sponsored by Rep. Westerman. Like previous versions, Westerman asserts RFFA will reduce massive wildfires and smoke, and promote more “resilient” forests.

In the name of fire reduction, RFFA is a Trojan Horse designed to […]

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The April 25th article in the Yakima Herald “Fewer low-intensity fires means more severe fires”  quotes Ryan Haugo, director of conservation science at The Nature Conservancy and contained many misstatements that lack context about wildfires. https://www.yakimaherald.com/news/local/study-low-intensity-fires-way-down-in-northwest-s-dry/article_aef38135-95ca-5689-aaab-5fc9906c3818.html  

It is possible that Haugo stated more ideas and simply wasn’t quoted in the article, but since he […]

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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