Currently viewing the tag: "Wildfire"


Cattle grazing promotes cheatgrass invasion by removing native grasses, destroying biocrusts, and promoting the cheatgrass-fire cycle. Photo George Wuerthner 


A new comprehensive paper, Cheatgrass invasions: History, causes, consequences and solutions, published by Western Watersheds Project was just released.

This report is a valuable contribution to the discussion of public […]

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Prime pygmy rabbit sagebrush habitat along the Big Lost River where I lived while working for the Challis National Forest. Photo George Wuerthner 

Years ago, I worked on the Challis National Forest and lived along the Big Lost River in Central Idaho. One of my favorite winter activities was skiing through […]

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The snag forests that result from high-severity blazes are a unique and critical habitat for numerous species. Photo George Wuerthner

I was backpacking with a friend up the Yellowstone River in the Teton Wilderness of Wyoming a couple of years ago. At various times, we passed through areas that had burned severely, […]

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The Camp Fire that destroyed Paradise, California, was an urban blaze driven by high winds. Photo George Wuerthner 

A new paper, “Wildlands-urban fire disasters aren’t a wildfire problem,” published in PNAS, challenges traditional approaches to wildfire management strategies.

The researchers note that most of the large blazes that destroyed homes, including […]

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Severe deforestation on the Wallowa Whiteman National Forest, Oregon justified by fire scar reconstructions. Photo George Wuerthner 

One of the biggest problems, and also a source of disagreements in wildfire discussions, stems from the use of different temporal and spatial scales. What may seem like excessive wildfire under one set of […]

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 Tracy Arm and Ford’s Terror Wilderness, Tongass NF, Alaska. Photo George Wuerthner 

A new paper, Southern Alaska’s Forest Landscape Integrity, Habitat, and Carbon Are Critical for Meeting Climate and Conservation Goals, published in AGU Advances, outlines the reasons why Alaska’s Tongass and Chugach National Forests should be given protection […]

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The idea that frequent low-severity blazes as practiced by Native American removes litter but does not kill trees and thus can preclude large blazes is widely promoted by media, the Forest Service and others. Photo George Wuerthner 

The idea that frequent low severity blazes as was practiced by some tribal people can […]

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Logging Road Impacts

On August 22, 2023 By

Logging roads are a major negative impact on ecosystems. Photo George Wuerthner 

The latest attempt by the Forest Service to make timber cutting palatable is using the terms “temporary” and “closed” to describe logging roads. The implied message is that road impacts are magically eliminated if they are temporary or closed. Roads, […]

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Lesson from Maui

On August 21, 2023 By

Wildfire ravaged the community of Lahaina on the Hawaiian Island of Maui, and the death toll mounts. Are there any lessons to be learned from this tragedy?

The Lahaina fire offers some insights into why the current Forest Service policy of focusing on fuel reduction is misguided.

The wildfire began in grasslands and, driven by […]

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Livestock grazing in the Great Basin has increased cheatgrass, a highly flammable annual grass. Livestock advocates allege targeted grazing can reduce large wildfires. Photo George Wuerthner

A recent publication in the Journal of Rangeland Ecology and Management, “Evaluating the efficacy of targeted cattle grazing for fuel break creation and maintenance,” perpetuates […]

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February 2024


‎"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