Inyo Volcanic Hazard Zone

My last adventure to the east side of the Sierra Nevada included a visit to Mammoth Lakes. There is a cluster of lakes above town, and at the end of the road is this “dead zone”. Due to a shift underground, carbon dioxide has saturated the soils here, killing off all plant life, since 1989. …

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Montana’s Recommended Forest Priorities Stand

Sent to me from a reader, this decision allows the Montana Governor’s recommendations for forest work to be legal. That doesn’t mean too much, as Federal projects still have to be crafted to survive the gauntlet of legal challenges ahead. http://missoulian.com/news/local/judge-oks-bullock-s-right-to-designate-priority-forest-work/article_2019088d-0518-5811-a502-ece327d5e2c2.html This does not settle the conflict over whether there is actually a forest health …

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Forest Service Must Re-initiate Consultation With USFWS on Lynx

This looks to have far-reaching effects on those National Forests within the “core habitats”. This looks like a forced settlement situation, where the Forest Service will probably pay dearly for their loss in court. http://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2015/06/17/13-35624.pdf Interesting: Although the court granted summary judgment to Cottonwood and ordered reinitiation of consultation, it declined to enjoin any specific …

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Sleeping With the Enemy?

Timber industry people who don’t trust forest collaboration believe that those of us who participate in collaboratives are sleeping with the enemy. Environmentalists who would rather sue than participate in collaboratives think that environmentalists who collaborate with us are sleeping with the enemy. So it’s unanimous. We’re sleeping with our enemies. I don’t care what …

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Rim Fire Images

The media does like to sensationalize events like the Rim Fire, often implying that the lands have been “destroyed”. The Rim Fire is so huge and burned across so many differing kinds of vegetation that you cannot summarize too much. Even my own “sampling” from the access roads doesn’t cover very much of the impacts …

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Service Contract Re-visited

In my last adventure, I decided to pass through an area of the Tahoe National Forest, where I worked in 1996 and 1997. During that time, I worked on fire salvage, blowdown salvage, insect salvage and roadside hazard tree projects. There was also this Service Contract, which reduced fuels without cutting trees over 9.9″ dbh. …

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The Rim Fire Salvage Seems Done

My last expedition included another trip to Yosemite, and the Rim Fire. I DO think that there are enough dead trees for the owls to “enjoy” in their respite from breeding. Then again, maybe this new “Circle of Life” will provide more food, in the form of baby owls, to larger predators? You might also …

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Merry Packers of Yesteryear

A good friend who worked in the Forest Service before the 1964 Wilderness Act asked me if I had heard of a Merry Packer. I had not heard of them. He then described this motorized contraption that ferried equipment up trails in remote areas. The full picture is here. My friend Tom commented about their …

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Happy Earth Day!

26 years after “protected” forests burned, in Yosemite National Park, this is what we now have. Chances are, it will burn again, before conifer trees can become established enough to resist the next inevitable wildfire. You might notice that even the manzanita is having trouble surviving. I doubt that John Muir intended this on public …

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Update From the Yosemite “Laboratory”

Here is a stitched-together panorama from the Foresta area of Yosemite National Park. I’ll have to pair it up with my historical version, one of these days. Restoration processes seem to be minimal, as re-burns continue to ravage the landscape, killing more old growth forests and eliminating more seed sources. Even the brush is dying off, …

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