Currently viewing the tag: "Wildfire"

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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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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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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Thinned lodgepole pine forest on Oregon’s Deschutes National Forest. As often is the case, thinning puts more “fine” fuels on the ground which can promote fire spread. Photo George Wuerthner 

Montana Senator Daines announced that he intends to reintroduce wildfire legislation co-sponsored by California Senator Diane Feinstein that, among other things, would […]

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Large blazes like the Camp Fire which leveled this McDonald’s in Paradise CA are driven by extreme fire weather, particularly wind. Active forest management including thinning and prescribe fire does nothing to prevent such blazes. Photo George Wuerthner 

Recently California Governor Newsom came out with a proposed fire budget of over […]

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To many foresters and others who advocate for “active forest management,” a fire that results in high tree mortality is considered evidence of an “unhealthy” forest. Photo George Wuerthner 

This past week I was invited to present my views on forest health and fire ecology to a group of Washington State […]

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Foresters want to remove large old-growth fir trees greater than 21 inches from the Blue Mountain Ecosystems in the name of forest restoration. Photo George Wuerthner 

Institutional bias doesn’t just exist in race relationships. The Forest Service and Forestry Schools have been the handmaiden of the timber industry for so long […]

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Previously logged and thinned forest that burned at high severity in the Jocko Lakes Fire, Montana. Photo George Wuerthner

There are daily news stories about the recent large wildfires in 2020. In nearly all of these media accounts, the large blazes are almost always attributed to a lack of active forest management. […]

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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