The Tahoe Basin

Lake Tahoe would probably be a National Park, by now, if the Comstock Lode had never been found. There was clearcutting right down to the lakshore, for mining timbers, in the silver mines. Incline Village was named for the switchback road that transported logs to a flume that went all the way down to the …

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Dry Sierra Winter

I recently drove over California’s Carson Pass and spent a day in the Lake Tahoe Basin. The weather was good, so I decided to save some money and camp out (!) for two nights (and spending $42 for a night in Reno). My day at Tahoe began encased in ice, as moist and cold air …

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Grand Canyon Fire Recovery

This is an interesting picture from the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. The fire burned and killed off all the pines but, the underground mass of aspen roots and shoots survived. I wonder how a pine component could “naturally” come back, or, did Indian burning favor old growth pines? Certainly, the higher pine …

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Urgent Action Needed to Save Sierra Forests

This viewpoint shows more of the reasons why the desire to have larger and more intense wildfires, in the Sierra Nevada, is the wrong way to go. In this picture below, fire crews were run out of this stand, and back into the “safety zone”, on this fire I worked on, back in 1988.   …

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The Rim Fire: Landscape View

Here is a view of the Granite Creek watershed, and a peek at the Tuolumne River canyon, too. The Rim Fire burned all the way to those most-distant ridgetops. For scale, you can see a vehicle in the middle of the picture. That road is the Cherry Oil Road, which connects Cherry Lake with Highway …

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In Idaho, Tracing What Remains After the Flames

Dick Boyd sent me this article featuring the Sawtooth National Recreation Area. The Stanley area is one of my favorite spots, with hot springs, jagged peaks, pristine lakes, spacious meadows and abundant wildlife. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/17/travel/in-idaho-tracing-what-remains-after-the-flames.html?emc=edit_th_20140816&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=66809837 As we neared Stanley, Idaho, a hamlet carved by creeks and framed by mountains with spiky peaks that reminded me of …

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Repeat Photography: Part Deux

It’s kind of a challenge to assemble pictures shot in different years, from different spots, and from different cameras. This is an excellent way to view and monitor trends, showing the public what happens over time to our National Forests. Sometimes, you have to look hard to see the differences. In any future repeat photography projects, …

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Examining Historical and Current Mixed-Severity Fire Regimes in Ponderosa Pine and Mixed-Conifer Forests of Western North America

The other day I got the following note and link to some new relevant research from Douglas Bevington, author of The Rebirth of Environmentalism: Grassroots Activism and the New Conservation Movement, 1989-2004.  Bevington’s note is shared below with his permission, along with a link to the new study and article. . – mk —————— I …

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Democrats Comment Against Forest Thinning

Here is an early July LA Times article that, apparently, says that only Republicans are seeking to thin our forests, as we watch our forests burn. Clearly, this is a tactic to rile up their mostly Democratic readers. http://www.latimes.com/news/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-gop-fire-hearings-20130703,0,2185679.story Yes, it did rile them up, as evidenced by the wild comments. Here are a few …

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New Study Shows the Value of Active Forest Management

Yes, we have already seen what happens with a hands-off, “whatever happens” strategy. I haven’t read the article all the way through but, this appears to solidify the importance of managing our forests, and the fire dangers within. The are four entire pages of citations, plenty of pictures and some very convincing common sense recommendations …

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