Study: Is fire severity increasing in the Sierra Nevada?

A  new study published in the International Journal of Wildland Fire found that, contrary to what has been claimed in some of the news coverage of recent forest fires, there is not a trend toward increasing fire severity in the Sierra Nevada. Previously, those who claimed that fire severity was increasing relied primarily on two …

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If not at Maroon Bells, Then Where? Or Predicting Poopy Trailheads

s As I go about my outdoor recreation, I go to Jefferson County Open Space (free bathrooms). when it gets warmer I go up to the local State Park ($7 per day or Park Pass for $70 a year). When it gets hotter, I may have to go to Brainerd Lake (host program, mildly ratty,pay …

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Large-scale bioenergy from additional harvest of forest biomass is neither sustainable nor greenhouse gas neutral

I’ve been down and out with the crud this week, so some items I’ve been meaning to post have been stacking up.  Researchers from Europe and the United States have ‘collaborated’ on a new study titled, “Large-scale bioenergy from additional harvest of forest biomass is neither sustainable nor greenhouse gas neutral.”  Below is the abstract …

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New Breakthrough in Tree Genetic Manipulation

The Forest Service’s Institute of Forest Genetics, in Placerville, California, has announced an important development to provide future nest trees, for imperiled birds on the Endangered Species List. Dr. Marie Shelley says that a twelve year effort has produced sapling trees, which exhibit the branching characteristics needed by birds, for nest trees which protect their …

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New study challenges forest restoration and fire management in western dry forests

(Below is a press release from the researchers. A copy of the study is available here. – mk) New research shows that western dry forests were not uniform, open forests, as commonly thought, before widespread logging and grazing, but included both dense and open forests, as well as large high-intensity fires previously considered rare in …

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County Payments, Jobs, & Forest Health

I thought some of our readers might be interested in a recent paper by Headwaters Economics examining ideas for reforming the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act (SRS) and Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT).  Here is the PDF Reform_County_Payments_WhitePaper_LowRes and the link http://www.headwaterseconomics.org/tools/reforming-federal-land-payments-to-counties/ This outfit does some really neat work and this paper …

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Should Wilderness Be Made Safe?

Next week the Forest Service plans to explode some trees. With dynamite. In a wilderness. To protect hikers. The 150 large, dead or dying hemlocks lie along the Joyce Kilmer trail that snakes through the 17,394-acre Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness in North Carolina. The trees are victims of the hemlock woolly adelgid, a non-native insect. The …

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Say It Ain’t So, Cathie; No Biofuels in Elk Country?

I guess the “Empty Quarter” (see Colors of Elk Country post) will be empty of biofuel research. Cathie Wotecki is the Undersecretary for the Research Education and Economics area at USDA. Here’s the link to the story. The USDA says five regional biofuels research centers would be created. The centers, a collaboration between the Agricultural …

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