Happy Earth Day!

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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 lands. This landscape is probably the future of parts of the Rim Fire, within Yosemite National Park.

3 thoughts on “Happy Earth Day!”

    • Sent! There are many reasons for the current conditions and some of them must share an equal blame/credit for what is there today. Historical fire suppression played a big role, being in a National Park, with dozens of private cabins in historic Foresta creating a flammable understory, which was unprecedented, since Foresta was a main summer encampment for the local Indians. Pines grew very large inside the areas that were burned every few years. It was very easy for them to burn off the bearclover. I’m very sure that they burned their way downslope, not allowing the fires to have a lot of fuel up the slope. I have done prescribed fire in bearclover, and it is fascinating to watch the fire behavior on a much smaller scale. You can create little spot fires in strategic places, to see how the rest of the fire reacts. It is also kind of fun to walk through the bearclover, “on the contour”, dripping fire behind you. That line of fire burns uphill to the line you already burned.

      Well, I’m kind of rambling now *smirk*

  1. This looks a lot like the Spinning Wheel area on the Stanislaus NF, which also has an extreme fire history and thin, rocky soils. It also looks like Jawbone Ridge, also on the STF, which burned in the Rim Fire and has burned repeatedly. Actually, if your pictures are looking up toward Devil’s Dance Floor from Big Meadow, as I think they are, you are actually looking at the results of an escaped prescribed fire through largely rocky brush habitat. Despite that failure, Yosemite is generally doing great work monitoring wildfires.


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