Happy Earth Day!

26 years after “protected” forests burned, in Yosemite National Park, this is what we now have. Chances are, it will burn again, before conifer trees can become established enough to resist the next inevitable wildfire. You might notice that even the manzanita is having trouble surviving. I doubt that John Muir intended this on public …

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Update From the Yosemite “Laboratory”

Here is a stitched-together panorama from the Foresta area of Yosemite National Park. I’ll have to pair it up with my historical version, one of these days. Restoration processes seem to be minimal, as re-burns continue to ravage the landscape, killing more old growth forests and eliminating more seed sources. Even the brush is dying off, …

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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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Rim Fire Update

Apparently, enough of the hazard trees within the Rim Fire on the Stanislaus NF have been cut so that the travel ban has finally been lifted, after more than a year. I heard one report that says that the litigation has failed at the District Court level, losing their pleas to stop the logging three …

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Throwback Thursday, Yosemite-style

I’ve found my hoard of old A-Rock Fire photos, from 1990! I will be preparing a bigger repeat photography article, after I finish selecting and scanning. Like several other fires this summer, the A-Rock Fire started in the Merced River canyon, burning northward. I really believe that this is the model of what will happen …

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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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UC Berkeley Gets it Right, and Gets it Wrong

A Cal-Berkeley fire scientist shows his unawareness of current Forest Service policy but, his other ideas favor active management of our Sierra Nevada National Forests. The situation is compounded by the gridlock between environmentalists and commercial foresters. The former favor thinning, but they want all logging plans to leave the larger trees, particularly those with …

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The Next Rim Fire?

http://www.news10.net/story/news/local/eldorado-hills/2014/09/18/king-fire-burns-27930-acres-el-dorado-county-thursday/15816425/ The King Fire is experiencing growth like we saw in the Rim Fire, last year. There are important similarities but there is also a main difference. The fuels are much thicker in this more northern landscape. The fire behavior was so extreme that even the airtankers could not fly their missions. The south fork …

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