In Search of Common Ground II – It Takes Two: Forest Management and Social Management

Here are two current articles that get some things wrong but if we ignore those items and focus on the big picture that they present rather than on the details, I believe that we will find that we have more in common than we thought. Between the two articles we see the full picture for …

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Science, Advocacy and Keeping to the Dominant Disciplinary Narrative: A Peek into Peer Review

Every time I think public lands issues are contentious, I just look at my climate science newsfeeds and thank Gaia for our community! But I think for those of us who haven’t been up close and personal with the science biz,it’s important to to understand some of the debates about advocacy vs. objectivity and how …

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Politicians vs science

Ideology was on display at a grandstanding event on the Lolo Peak Fire. Secretary Sonny Perdue, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, Congressman Greg Gianforte and Senator Steve Daines got a briefing from the fire management team, and then held a short press conference. Senator Daines repeated a refrain that Montana Republicans have been saying for years: …

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Air Pollution from Wildfires compared to that from Prescribed burns

New research has taken an exponential leap forward in measuring air pollution from forest fires. It confirms the importance of sound forest management in terms of health. To summarize: prescribed burns are significantly more desirable than wildfires. “Researchers associated with a total of more than a dozen universities and organizations participated in data collection or …

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New York Times on Fire: “Science” Without Fire Science

Thanks to readers who shared this NY Times article. The subheading is A “scientific debate is intensifying over whether too much money and too many lives are lost fighting forest fires”. The article says that the black=backed woodpecker is “a symbol of a huge scientific and political debate over the future of fire in American …

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Jasanoff on Public Truths: An Approach to the Fire Retardant Debate?

Andy Stahl’s comment here: reminded me of a recent piece I’d read by Sheila Jasanoff. Andy made the claim: “While anecdotal information (“evidence based on hearsay“) can be helpful, scientific research and hard facts are a better basis for policy decisions.” Sheila Jasanoff, Pforzheimer Professor of Science and Technology Studies at the Harvard Kennedy School, …

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The response of the forest to drought

This post provides some on the ground research and consistent but separate modeling results that demonstrate the importance of stand density in coping with climate change and therefore the importance of sustainable forest management. Hopefully this will change some minds on the importance of strategically managing density. A) The response of the forest to drought: …

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Inside the Firestorm

This is for those who insist that we don’t need to use forest management to reduce the risk of catastrophic loss to wildfire. Several people have expressed unscientific views on this site to the effect that ‘Wildfire is climate driven and no amount of controlled burns and or thinning can have any impact on total …

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A conservation plan puts science ahead of politics

This story about the Pima County Arizona conservation planning effort isn’t directly about national forests, though there should have been (and probably was) coordination with the Coronado National Forest.  And my point here isn’t about the success of a conservation plan driven by the need to protect at-risk species (arguably an ESA success story).  It’s about the …

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The Impact of Sound Forest Management Practices on Wildfire Smoke and Human Health

– Some would have us turn our forests back to a time before any of mankind inhabited North America. – Some suggest that we should limit our management of forests to that done by native Americans pre European times. – Some of us see a problem with limiting ourselves to these past practices because of …

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