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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Humans sparked 84 percent of US wildfires, increased fire season over two decades

How should we deal with the new math on forest fires? If this article published in the February Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences is not a fluke then it would seem to me that our expanding population dictates the need for more forest management not less. The less desireable alternative would be to …

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IN SEARCH OF COMMON GROUND

It seems like an exercise in futility for the “New Century of Forest Planning” group to be discussing and cussing forest planning &/ policy when we haven’t even agreed to the scientific fundamentals that serve as the cornerstone and foundation for any such discussions. Below, I have developed a tentative outline of the high level …

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County job description for biologist: “help us combat the radical environmental influence”

This job interview of a former Forest Service employee by Tuolumne County Supervisors didn’t go well. Supervisor Evan Royce noted he wanted to be explicit with Boroski, trying to make sure they are on the same page, by saying, “I think we have experienced a lot of extreme environmental influence on public lands policy and in …

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Do elk need trees?

For many years, it has been pretty much common knowledge, supported by science, that as the amount of hunting season open roads increases, there is more need for cover for elk to hide.  The Helena National forest plan (and others) have incorporated this relationship into standards for elk security.  (Full disclosure – I had something …

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