Experts: More logging and thinning to battle wildfires might just burn taxpayer dollars

On Sunday, the Missoulian published on their homepage and Facebook page – and then about 4 hours later, deleted – this in-depth story about public lands logging, fuel reduction and wildfires. The editor claims it was a ‘mistake’ that it was published and that the article isn’t finished and needs editing. The complete version of …

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Fuel reduction treatments: Are we treating enough?

This paper, in the July 2017 edition of the Journal of Forestry, may help us in our discussions of fuel-treatment effectiveness. “An Evaluation of the Forest Service Hazardous Fuels Treatment Program—Are We Treating Enough to Promote Resiliency or Reduce Hazard?” The USFS offers this intro: In the wrong place at the wrong time, wildfires cause …

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Struggling Oregon county spent $490,000 in federal safety net money on pro-timber video, animal trapping

Douglas County, in southwestern Oregon, is so broke it had to close all its public libraries earlier this year. However, according to an investigation in the Oregonian, Douglas County Commissioners “have awarded Communities for Healthy Forests a total of $490,000 in federal money over the last two years, $250,000 of it to make videos. Only …

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WILDFIRES: Politicians out of step with science, serve up myths promoted by commercial interests

I’ve been a contributor on this blog for a long time, and if there are two people and/or organizations that some folks on this blog love to hate more then the rest it’s the Alliance for the Wild Rockies and Dr. Chad Hanson. So, how cool is it that AWR’s director Mike Garrity and Dr. …

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Forest Service tried to quash paper debunking Montana wildlife authority

This is a must read! Public lands, wildlife management and Forest Service censorship, oh my! Dr. Martin Nie is not only the director of the distinguished Bolle Center for People and Forests at the University of Montana…but Dr. Nie was one of the founders of this blog. The Missoulian article also includes quotes from current …

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Rain’s Ecosystem Service Value

The Columbia River Gorge’s Eagle Creek Fire will be history as about 5 inches of rain are forecast to fall within the next several days. Tongue-in-cheek, we can calculate the ecosystem service value of rain by analyzing the avoided cost of an alternative delivery vehicle — the Global Supertanker. Five inches of rain delivered across …

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University of Montana Forest Ecologist Takes Senator Daines to the Woodshed for Wildlife Blame-Game

Last night Montana Senator Steve Daines, who hasn’t hosted an in-person town hall meeting in over 1,000 days hosted a ‘teletownhall’ to blame ‘radical environmentalists’ for wildfires. Montana Public Radio News Director Eric Whitney sat in the studio and listened to Senator Daines’ phone call with University of Montana Forest Ecologist Dr. Andrew Larson. You …

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The Science of Fighting Wildfires Gets a Satellite Boost

This piece, “The Science of Fighting Wildfires Gets a Satellite Boost” from Megan Molteni in Wired is certainly worth a read. While the news media in Montana seems entirely intent on just letting Montana’s politicians – especially from the GOP – engaged in childish name calling like calling Montana citizens who are environmentalists ‘extremists’ ‘fringe’ …

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Is Private Property the Key to Keeping Firefighting Costs Down?

Regular readers know that the U.S. Forest Service’s firefighting expenses just keep going up. Some believe that a dramatic decline in federal land logging over the past 30 years is the reason. Others say long-term cycles of drought, while some blame increasing number of wildland/urban interface homes. If federal land logging policies are to blame …

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