Chad Hanson LA Times

Nothing new, but how does Hansen get published so often?

From Nick Smith’s Healthy Forests, Healthy Communities email today… I don’t have an LA Times subscription, so can’t get the text.

Chad Hanson: California’s clear-cutting project in the Rim fire area is setting up the region for another tragedy (LA Times)
During hot, dry and windy conditions last November, the Camp fire devastated the towns of Paradise and Concow in the northern Sierra Nevada, ultimately claiming at least 85 lives and destroying thousands of homes. The tragedy was a wake-up call regarding the increasing risks to vulnerable communities stemming from the human-caused climate crisis. But forest fire behavior is complex, and multiple factors affect fire severity. In addition to high regional temperatures and aridity, the Camp fire was fueled by persistent forest mismanagement.

32 thoughts on “Chad Hanson LA Times”

  1. A friend of mine sent me the text for comment.

    Fueling the next Rim fire

    The state’s clear-cutting project sets up the area for another tragedy. MORE THAN 250,000 acres were scorched during the 2013 Rim fire in and around Yosemite National Park. (Mike McMillan Associated Press) By Chad Hanson and James Hansen

    During hot, dry and windy conditions last November, the Camp fire devastated the towns of Paradise and Concow in the northern Sierra Nevada, ultimately claiming at least 85 lives and destroying thousands of homes. The tragedy was a wake-up call regarding the increasing risks to vulnerable communities stemming from the human-caused climate crisis. But forest fire behavior is complex, and multiple factors affect fire severity. In addition to high regional temperatures and aridity, the Camp fire was fueled by persistent forest mismanagement. After the Butte Complex fire of 2008 that burned the forest just east of Paradise, there were years of extensive post-fire clear-cutting and artificial planting of dense tree farms on private and public lands. The Camp fire burned rapidly and intensely through these heavily post-fire logged areas as it spread toward Paradise, consistent with the findings of scientific research establishing that such post-fire management tends to increase future fire intensity. Post-fire logging leaves behind kindling-like “slash debris” (branches and treetops) and spreads combustible non-native weeds like cheatgrass. In addition, the croplike tree farms planted after clear-cutting generally burn more intensely when fires recur. Even in the face of that research and those lessons, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration is partnering with President Trump’s team to clear-cut and then plant tree farms on several thousand acres of national forest lands in the Rim fire area, which scorched more than 250,000 acres in and around Yosemite National Park in 2013. Adding insult to injury, the Newsom-Trump project utilizes $28 million of federal Housing and Urban Development funds that were supposed to be used for community disaster recovery and rebuilding. The state of California, in conjunction with the U.S. Forest Service, requested these funds from HUD based on the claim that trees would not naturally grow back in the Rim fire, and that clear-cutting and artificial tree planting was the only option. But now we know better — forests are naturally regenerating vigorously in the Rim fire. This clear-cutting started over the summer and is being undertaken near the western border of Yosemite, arguably the crown jewel of the nation’s national park system. The entire scheme — misusing community disaster relief funds to subsidize widespread clear-cutting on remote public lands — is fraught on multiple levels. As a group of U.S. Forest Service scientists observed last fall in the journal of Forest Ecology and Management, the last time the Forest Service conducted post-fire clear-cutting and created dense tree plantations in this same area, it caused “rapid fire spread and high fire intensity” during the Rim fire. Some small towns, as well as many large resorts — each with many dozens of cabins — are in close proximity to the planned clear-cuts and tree plantations in the Rim fire, setting up the region for another tragedy like the Camp fire. The Rim fire clear-cutting plan also exacerbates the global climate crisis. Vigorous, naturally regenerating young conifer forests actively sequester an increasing amount of carbon each year, which helps reduce greenhouse gases responsible for climate change in our atmosphere. Such forests are being clear-cut in the area right now. Moreover, the Rim fire clear-cutting plan calls for felling and bulldozing trees into giant piles in places, and incinerating them on site with accelerants, leaving large areas of scarred, barren ground. In other locations, the plan requires felling the trees and grinding them into chips to be hauled to “biomass” power facilities, where they will be incinerated for energy production. Either way, the large amounts of carbon in these trees would be released into the atmosphere when the nation and the world can least afford additional greenhouse gas emissions, in light of the urgency of the climate crisis. Further, damaging fragile post-fire soils with industrial logging machinery and removing most of the nutrients stored in the trees from the ecosystem likely will inhibit forest regrowth and convert some of the forest ecosystem into invasive grassland — a deplorable development that undermines the area’s ability to mitigate climate change since grass captures less atmospheric carbon dioxide than trees. Moreover, as more than 250 scientists explained to Congress in 2015, the unique habitat that is created by mixed-intensity fires rivals old-growth forest in native biodiversity and wildlife abundance. Taxpayers should not be spending millions to subsidize the destruction of these vital ecosystems. Newsom has an important choice to make: He can continue to partner with Trump in a project that exacerbates the global climate crisis and the risk of severe fire to rural communities. Or he can halt this misguided scheme and redirect the remainder of his HUD grant to help Paradise rebuild and adapt in a fire-safe way. The Rim fire clear-cutting project is bad for our forests, bad for communities and bad for our climate. California’s reputation as a climate leader hangs in the balance.

    Chad Hanson is a forest ecologist with the John Muir Project. James Hansen , a former director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, directs the Climate Science, Awareness and Solutions program at Columbia University. They and others recently filed suit to halt the Rim fire clear-cutting project.

    Reply
    • His Camp Fire ‘opinion’ is pure speculation, with no logic or facts to back up his ‘ideas’. He does not mention that the fire had to go through many acres of ‘regular’ forests and ‘natural’ south-facing brush before it reached those plantations. It is MY opinion that a fire with so much wind behind it will incinerate any and all fuels in front of it. The more fuel in front, the more embers and intensity. Hanson is just wrong, and he knows he is wrong. He is not just ignorant. He is lying.

      Reply
      • It’s an important issue but they’re making up stuff to fuel a moral panic.

        [From Wikipedia – source of first cuts of knowledge(TM)]
        According to Stanley Cohen…there are five key stages in the construction of a moral panic:

        1. Someone, something or a group are defined as a threat to social norms or community interests
        2. The threat is then depicted in a simple and recognizable symbol/form by the media
        3. The portrayal of this symbol rouses public concern
        4. There is a response from authorities and policy makers
        5. The moral panic over the issue results in social changes within the community

        …Looks damn close to the mark to me.

        Reply
        • Norm Benson – “…Looks damn close to the mark to me.”
          ===

          Actually there is a whole lot more. If you scroll on down on that same Wikipedia page’s subheading below MORAL PANIC you have this:

          MASS MEDIA

          Stanley Cohen showed that the mass media are the primary source of the public’s knowledge about deviance and social problems. He further argued that moral panic gives rise to the folk devil by labeling actions and people.[4]

          According to Cohen, the media appear in any or all three roles in moral panic dramas:[4]

          Setting the agenda – selecting deviant or socially problematic events deemed as newsworthy, then using finer filters to select which events are candidates for moral panic.
          Transmitting the images – transmitting the claims by using the rhetoric of moral panics.
          Breaking the silence and making the claim.

          ===

          CHARACTERISTICS

          Moral panics have several distinct features. According to Goode and Ben-Yehuda, moral panic consists of the following characteristics:[8]

          CONCERN – There must be the belief that the behaviour of the group or activity deemed deviant is likely to have a negative effect on society.
          HOSTILITY – Hostility toward the group in question increases, and they become “folk devils”. A clear division forms between “them” and “us”.
          CONSENSUS – Though concern does not have to be nationwide, there must be widespread acceptance that the group in question poses a very real threat to society. It is important at this stage that the “moral entrepreneurs” are vocal and the “folk devils” appear weak and disorganized.
          DISPROPORTIONALITY – The action taken is disproportionate to the actual threat posed by the accused group.
          VOLATILITY – Moral panics are highly volatile and tend to disappear as quickly as they appeared because public interest wanes or news reports change to another narrative.”

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_panic#cite_note-cohen-4

          What’s interesting is much of this comes from his (1973) book called “Folk Devils and Moral Panics: The Creation of the Mods and Rockers.” It’s amazing how prophetic this was in describing the times we live in now and how organization, groups big & small (doesn’t matter the political ideology) are so bent on acquiring power and holding onto it. Creepy.

          Reply
  2. Steve Wilent: “I don’t have an LA Times subscription, so can’t get the text.”

    Funny, neither do I but they allowed me to read it from way over here in Europe. Maybe it’s one of those 2 or 3 reads allowed a month deals. Here is what it said:

    By CHAD HANSON, JAMES HANSEN
    OCT. 14, 2019 3 AM
    During hot, dry and windy conditions last November, the Camp fire devastated the towns of Paradise and Concow in the northern Sierra Nevada, ultimately claiming at least 85 lives and destroying thousands of homes. The tragedy was a wake-up call regarding the increasing risks to vulnerable communities stemming from the human-caused climate crisis.

    But forest fire behavior is complex, and multiple factors affect fire severity. In addition to high regional temperatures and aridity, the Camp fire was fueled by persistent forest mismanagement.

    After the Butte Complex fire of 2008 that burned the forest just east of Paradise, there were years of extensive post-fire clear-cutting and artificial planting of dense tree farms on private and public lands. The Camp fire burned rapidly and intensely through these heavily post-fire logged areas as it spread toward Paradise, consistent with the findings of scientific research establishing that such post-fire management tends to increase future fire intensity. Post-fire logging leaves behind kindling-like “slash debris” (branches and treetops) and spreads combustible non-native weeds like cheatgrass. In addition, the croplike tree farms planted after clear-cutting generally burn more intensely when fires recur.

    Even in the face of that research and those lessons, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration is partnering with President Trump’s team to clear-cut and then plant tree farms on several thousand acres of national forest lands in the Rim fire area, which scorched more than 250,000 acres in and around Yosemite National Park in 2013. Adding insult to injury, the Newsom-Trump project utilizes $28 million of federal Housing and Urban Development funds that were supposed to be used for community disaster recovery and rebuilding.

    ADVERTISEMENT
    The state of California, in conjunction with the U.S. Forest Service, requested these funds from HUD based on the claim that trees would not naturally grow back in the Rim fire, and that clear-cutting and artificial tree planting was the only option. But now we know better — forests are naturally regenerating vigorously in the Rim fire.

    This clear-cutting started over the summer and is being undertaken near the western border of Yosemite, arguably the crown jewel of the nation’s national park system. The entire scheme — misusing community disaster relief funds to subsidize widespread clear-cutting on remote public lands — is fraught on multiple levels.

    As a group of U.S. Forest Service scientists observed last fall in the journal of Forest Ecology and Management, the last time the Forest Service conducted post-fire clear-cutting and created dense tree plantations in this same area, it caused “rapid fire spread and high fire intensity” during the Rim fire.

    Some small towns, as well as many large resorts — each with many dozens of cabins — are in close proximity to the planned clear-cuts and tree plantations in the Rim fire, setting up the region for another tragedy like the Camp fire.

    The Rim fire clear-cutting plan also exacerbates the global climate crisis. Vigorous, naturally regenerating young conifer forests actively sequester an increasing amount of carbon each year, which helps reduce greenhouse gases responsible for climate change in our atmosphere. Such forests are being clear-cut in the area right now. Moreover, the Rim fire clear-cutting plan calls for felling and bulldozing trees into giant piles in places, and incinerating them on site with accelerants, leaving large areas of scarred, barren ground.

    In other locations, the plan requires felling the trees and grinding them into chips to be hauled to “biomass” power facilities, where they will be incinerated for energy production. Either way, the large amounts of carbon in these trees would be released into the atmosphere when the nation and the world can least afford additional greenhouse gas emissions, in light of the urgency of the climate crisis.

    Further, damaging fragile post-fire soils with industrial logging machinery and removing most of the nutrients stored in the trees from the ecosystem likely will inhibit forest regrowth and convert some of the forest ecosystem into invasive grassland — a deplorable development that undermines the area’s ability to mitigate climate change since grass captures less atmospheric carbon dioxide than trees.

    Moreover, as more than 250 scientists explained to Congress in 2015, the unique habitat that is created by mixed-intensity fires rivals old-growth forest in native biodiversity and wildlife abundance. Taxpayers should not be spending millions to subsidize the destruction of these vital ecosystems.

    Newsom has an important choice to make: He can continue to partner with Trump in a project that exacerbates the global climate crisis and the risk of severe fire to rural communities. Or he can halt this misguided scheme and redirect the remainder of his HUD grant to help Paradise rebuild and adapt in a fire-safe way.

    The Rim fire clear-cutting project is bad for our forests, bad for communities and bad for our climate. California’s reputation as a climate leader hangs in the balance.

    Chad Hanson is a forest ecologist with the John Muir Project. James Hansen, a former director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, directs the Climate Science, Awareness and Solutions program at Columbia University. They and others recently filed suit to halt the Rim fire clear-cutting project.
    ==============

    His final short paragraph was puzzling:

    “The Rim fire clear-cutting project is bad for our forests, bad for communities and bad for our climate. California’s reputation as a climate leader hangs in the balance.”

    I’m confused here, didn’t Patrick Koepele of the Tuolumne River Trust tell us back this past June 2019:

    “The salvage logging that was done in the Rim Fire burn area was completed in 2014-15. There has been no salvage logging since then and no more is planned. There is prep work planned as part of the reforestation. This will result in removal of some standing, dead trees and some jumbled piles of fallen logs.”

    So according to Chad Hanson’s last paragraph Patrick Koepele was lying ??? But there’s also something else odd here about what Chad & James Hanson states about the evil clearcutting which conflicts with something they published on their John Muir Project of Earth Island Institute Facebook page where they posted a Berkeley Lab link this past September 18th 2019 an article championing how wonderful extreme severe wildfires are when they obliterate all life on the landscape to nothing but bare soil, because this attracts more snow and facilitates water infiltration. This article’s script was taken right out of the Roger C. Bales playbook which these people were against several years back where he advocated thinning forests to fill reservoirs. (All this during the middle of the past California mega-drought of course) The blame was on overcrowded forest in which Bales asserted the trees gulped down water as he put it and prevented water from flowing in creeks, streams and rivers down into reservoirs for the farmers in the Central Valley. But suddenly if a wildfire destroys all life on the landscape to bare soil, that’s a good thing ??? Here is what the John Muir Project Institute emphatically championed on their website:

    “Just another reason to love #PostFireHabitats- A recent study found that wildfires in CA can be beneficial to the state’s water supply. Postfire areas hold more snowpack during the winter, have greater summer runoff & have increased groundwater storage!”

    Facebook post link:
    https://www.facebook.com/JohnMuirProject/posts/3055613241179056

    Berkeley Lab Link:
    https://www.dailycal.org/2019/09/10/berkeley-lab-study-finds-california-wildfires-increase-runoff-groundwater/

    Wow, so again, this is taken from right out of the pages of the Roger C. Bales playbook. So we are to believe wildfires are going to save the planet by destroying and obliterating forests of their trees because an obliterated forest causes more snow to come and bare soil allows better infiltration of water ??? So the massive increase in wildfires because of human beings (90%) are now a positive because bare ground is attractive to snow, But wicked evil intent thinning of the forest through logging where stumps and slash are left behing on the ground does not accomplishing the same thing ???

    (BTW, sometime back Climate Change advocates were offering the removal of forests for the same reasons, trees are heat islands and if we cut more forests down snow will last longer and cool the planet off better and reflect sunlight back into space. Seriously, you just can’t make this stuff up)

    So bare scorched earth after a severe wildfire facilitates water infiltration ??? Historically, I thought the narrative was it creates runoff and major erosion and that was bad for nature ??? Especially in light of what another article out of Colorado published back on September 22nd 2019 states about the the plight of native fish on the Colorado River being

    Article has an error page, but here’s the cached below the link:
    https://www.9news.com/article/news/local/wildfire/colorado-river-suffers-high-fish-deaths-due-to-wildfire-ash/73-721b0eb7-26c7-4ce5-913f-b903c8e3d074

    Colorado river suffers high fish deaths due to wildfire ash
    Animas River fish populations are down about 80% due to runoff filled with ash from the 416 Fire, the Durango Herald reports.
    Author: The Associated Press
    Published: 11:00 PM MDT September 22, 2019
    Updated: 11:00 PM MDT September 22, 2019

    “DURANGO, Colo. — Officials say fish populations in a Colorado river have been severely depleted due to suffocation caused by debris from a 2018 wildfire.

    The Durango Herald reported Saturday that Animas River fish populations are down about 80% due to runoff filled with ash from the 416 Fire.

    The fire burned an estimated 84 square miles (219 square kilometers) of mostly U.S. Forest Service land in the Hermosa Creek watershed in southwest Colorado.

    State wildlife officials say heavy rains and flooding from July to September 2018 caused the runoff.

    The first full-scale Colorado Parks and Wildlife survey conducted since then found a 64% decline from the river’s historical average amount of trout.

    Officials say there was a 95% decline from the river’s historical average of fish longer than 14 inches (36 centimeters).”

    There’s no end to the lack of common sense or reality on the ground outside of social media pages. As to Steve Wilent’s first sentence in the O.P. above:

    “Nothing new, but how does Hansen get published so often?”

    I think it just fits a certain specific political narrative or ideology that Media Outlets want to hear and promote to the public.

    Reply
    • Hanson: “But forest fire behavior is complex, and multiple factors affect fire severity.”

      Agreed, of course.

      Hanson: “In addition to high regional temperatures and aridity, the Camp fire was fueled by persistent forest mismanagement.”

      I disagree. With conditions at the time, including strong east winds, the fire would have burned very easily and quickly through Hansen’s preferred unmanaged forest.

      Reply
  3. A friend asked me for my take. Here’s what I wrote:

    The use of salvage logging did not use to be controversial; it was standard practice. After a fire, large trees get scorched such that they are gravely weakened and susceptible to beetle attack (and become a source of an epidemic) or die of burns. These larger trees were taken and this paid for other treatments such as planting, fuel breaks, etc. That changed about 10 years ago. A professor in Oregon (can’t remember if it was OSU-Corvallis or UofO, sorry) published a paper saying it was a bad idea and could do more harm than good.

    Hanson and Hansen say, “The tragedy was a wake-up call regarding the increasing risks to vulnerable communities stemming from the human-caused climate crisis. But forest fire behavior is complex, and multiple factors affect fire severity.” The first sentence is a stretch. The risks to Wildland-Urban Intterface communities have long been known. Paradise especially, was known to have serious problems if a fire started under the “right” conditions. Their roads were narrow and limited, my understanding is there was only one-way in and out. They liked living in the forest. The second sentence: “But forest fire behavior is complex, and multiple factors affect fire severity.” is true. Most of my peers would say, “No shit there, Sherlock.” Unfortunately, Hansen and Hanson don’t stop there. Their complaint is that people want to rebuild in an area that is dangerous and they aver that those people are setting up conditions similar to what they were. Any firefighter will tell you under certain conditions there is nothing you can do with a wildfire.

    H&H are correct that plantings are close spaced, usually 8’x8′. This is because foresters plan a series of thinning projects throughout the stand’s development. The thinning of stands is crucial for the health of the stand and its fire behavior. If done correctly this can lessen the possibility of crown fires by removing the fire ladder and changing the spacing. H&H seem to leave out a crucial bit of information. That is: naturally seeded areas are often overgrown thickets too. H&H intimate that stupid humans don’t know what to do and let nature be the designer.

    That said, the Trump administration’s (probably other former administrations too) love for redirecting funds from what Congress authorized to do something else drives me nuts. Congress holds the purse.

    Reply
  4. Fire intensity from massive clearcuts and plantations? OR Huge fuels buildup near the first point of origin?

    https://www.google.com/maps/@39.8079496,-121.4709048,71m/data=!3m1!1e3?hl=en

    The Flea Valley area, which has seen little in the way of logging (due to aspect and terrain), had very high fire intensities, as you can see. You can see outlines of each and every tree in places around this image. Well before the fire reached any clearcuts or plantations.

    Besides, most environmentalists say that most logging should occur close to communities. Those burned plantations were not in some remote areas, far from humans. Try to remember that, please.

    Reply
  5. I looked exhaustively at the Google Maps images (including current burned areas) but, I did not find any plantations burned on Forest Service lands. I think the USFS needs to be excluded from this criticism, especially since they do not clearcut (in the Sierra Nevada), in this new millennium.

    Reply
  6. Something also overlooked is that Rim Fire salvage operations happened on only about 16,000 acres of the Rim Fire, with some of that salvage occurring in….. plantations. That being said, the other 16,000 acres of plantations offered in salvage sales were not sold. The idea that the Rim Fire is ‘snag-deficient’ is absolutely ludicrous. Hey, even the local Sierra Club Chapter was onboard with the Forest Service’s plans (but were silenced by the demented national leadership).

    This desperation by Hanson (Including the lies) amuses me. Since he cannot bring his lies into the courts, he seems adrift in the rough seas of justice and truth. When was the last time he won a lawsuit? *SMIRK*

    Reply
  7. Without Dr. Chad Hanson, 75% of Larry Harrell’s comments wouldn’t exist.

    Without calling Dr. Chad Hanson a lair, the length of Larry Harrell’s comments would be reduced 50%.

    Steve Wilent wonders “how does Hansen get published so often?”

    Gee, maybe it’s because Dr. Chad Hanson has published an impressive list of scientific research papers on forest and fire ecology, wildlife use of burned forest and fire history and trend. Maybe it’s because Dr. Hanson got a BS in Science from UCLA, a law degree from the University of Oregon (one of the nation’s top environmental law programs) and then got a Phd in Ecology from the UC-Davis. Maybe Dr. Chad Hanson has taken lots of reporters, journalists and news crews out in the forest and they’ve been impressed. Maybe it’s because Dr. Hanson has twice been a member of the Sierra Club’s national Board of Directors. Or maybe Dr. Hanson gets published so often because he’s a liar and the LA Times is in the business to produce “hit pieces on the U.S. Forest Service” as Larry Harrell alleged.

    Reply
    • Apparently, Hanson STILL has problems reading maps. IMHO, map reading should be a required course in the curriculum for a degree in any Natural Resource field. What good is it if you find something that needs to be protected but, cannot actually locate it on a map?!?

      Many respected scientists keep Hanson at arm’s length, not wanting any sort of association with his agenda-driven ‘science’ and his lack of objectivity, as well as his persistent lies. Hanson’s ‘sins against science’ has branded him as an unreliable source of slanted propaganda, ineptitude and easily-refuted lies.

      I comment on what I am an expert in. Hanson is afraid to come here and defend his lies. Instead, he sends Matt.

      Reply
      • Thanks for proving my point Larry.

        As I said, without Dr. Chad Hanson, 75% of Larry Harrell’s comments wouldn’t exist. And without calling Dr. Hanson a lair, the length of Larry Harrell’s comments would be reduced 50%.

        P.S. Nobody “sends” me, Larry…so that’s just another lie.

        Reply
  8. See Zald and Dunn 2018. Severe fire weather and intensive forest management increase fire severity in a multi-ownership landscape. Ecological Applications 28:1068-1080, and Donato et al. 2005. Post-wildfire logging hinders regeneration and increases fire risk. 10.1126/science.1122855.

    Reply
  9. As a toxicologist once told me about studies proving that x herbicide caused cancer, “Stupid nonsense dressed up to look like complicated science is still just stupid nonsense.”

    Reply
    • Such papers, he said are “designed to make your head hurt, so that you won’t hear that soft little voice of common sense in the back of your head whispering ‘this is all bullshit, isn’t it?.’”

      Reply
  10. The claim that someone like Chad Hansen is trying to foment “moral panic” is a hyperbolic claim in itself. The media is not biased in favor of one brand of panic over another – it promotes any and all kinds of “panic,” that’s its job; whip up interest and attention to stimulate people to review and reconsider preexisting complacencies and defunct paradigmatic dogmas. Here’s an article worth reading that identifies that predilection of the media:

    ” a steady stream of fear-inducing, hyperbolic reporting by agencies like the Forest Service and much of the media. The fire was consistently described as “catastrophic,” “destructive,” and “devastating.” A month in, Forest Service ecologist Jay Miller said the fire had completely charred trees, leaving nothing alive. “In other words,” he said, “it’s nuked.”

    Nuked is strong language. More importantly, it is inaccurate. For one thing, much of the area within the Rim Fire perimeter did not burn at all, or burned at very low-severity, which means most of the larger trees survived the blaze. But even in places where the fire killed the bulk of the trees – areas termed “high-severity” burn patches – it created one of the rarest and most ecologically valuable habitat types in the West – the snag forest.”

    The War Against Wildfire Forests in the American West have been shaped by fires. So why do we continue to fight them?

    http://www.earthisland.org/journal/index.php/magazine/entry/the_war_against_wildfire/

    I personally think Mr. Hanson is a highly credible observer and he should be heard and his claims should be considered and not dismissed outright by uni-directional thinkers.

    mike

    Reply
    • Ironically, most of the serious mortality in the Rim Fire was up in Yosemite National Park, where old growth died in droves. Much of the Rim Fire outside of the park had been burned before, in various fires over the last 50 years. In fact, I was there in 1973, while they were still salvaging in the old Granite Fire (within the Rim Fire footprint).

      Reply
    • I wonder if Mike has ever spent much time in some of the forest where fire was allowed to burn for “resource benefit”? (Or Chad Hanson for that matter.)
      My thoughts lately are that fire is one of the most costly, destructive, wasteful, and least environmentally beneficial way to manage our pubic lands.
      Any mature forests will have snags, trees are always dying for one reason or another. Trees don’t really like fire, to much and they are dead. Even a low intensity fires leave scares on the trees that can eventually lead to rot and death. It is a myth that fires clean up and thin the forests. It is a myth that our current wildfire problem was caused by the past fire policies of putting the fires out when they are small. It is a myth that forests need fire. It is a myth that post fire logging hinders forests regeneration.
      Just my observations and opinions after 20 years of doing forest fire timber salvage in Southwestern Oregon.

      Reply
  11. I found this tucked away in the text of the court decision:

    ” Plaintiffs, in reply, aver that they did not respond to this request to coordinate because Mr.
    Rosen, General Counsel for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, “has a known pattern and practice of baiting members of the public, who may or may not be represented, with letters like Dr. Hanson received from him” and that Mr. Rosen “has a reputation for not engaging in good faith.” (Dkt. 44 at 10.) Given these allegations are conclusory and not substantiated with anything other than vague reference to “past experience,” Plaintiffs’ allegations of bad faith will not be entertained. Indeed, the actual language of Mr. Rosen’s letter to Mr. Hanson of EII (Dkt. 30-1) merely inquired whether EII intended to litigate so as to coordinate proactively in hopes of avoiding the very expedited briefing in which the parties and the Court are now embroiled, nearly four months later and with nearly half the project area already having been logged.”

    Amusing, yes, but not surprising.

    Reply
  12. Yes, I also read the Northern District judge’s restraining order denial. Now, the case will be heard in the Eastern District. EII’s argument might even be sustained in the end, even though the disputed activity will have already been executed making it a moot case (i.e., Pyrrhic victory).

    You do seem very insistent on assassinating Mr. Hanson’s character, that’s shamefully evident, Larry.

    I prefer to evaluate the merits or deficiencies of Mr. Hanson’s observations and reasoning, but I don’t doubt his credibility or sincerity, which is plainly documented by the link Matthew Koehler posted earlier documenting Mr. Hanson’s impressive Curriculum Vitae: (https://johnmuirproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/HansonCV.pdf).

    I suggest we keep an open mind and stand on the data and the latest science and not devolve into personal animosities.

    mike

    Reply
    • I have seen him (and his people in EII) use pictures of private logging to accuse the Forest Service of ‘misdeeds’. I’ve personally debunked several supplied by Hanson, through Matthew the Messenger. If he truly did have credible evidence of his clearcutting claims, wouldn’t he use that evidence in court, to win his lawsuits?!? (He only makes those claims to potential donors and newspaper reporters) We’ve also seen him used as a ‘poster child’ for “Agenda-Driven Science”. He seems to have great difficulty in reading maps, and determining land ownership, in the field. We’ve seen other scientists distancing themselves from Hanson, as well. We’ve seen him ignoring significant facts in his studies, especially effects on us humans. The public surely doesn’t like his opinion that our Sierra Nevada forests “need larger and more intense wildfires”. I’ve also seen, personally, his poor scientific techniques, in the field. Fortunately, he is being marginalized, along with his preference of pure preservationism, in the face of everything endangering our forests.

      Reply
  13. Here are some scientists cited in the article link I posted who apparently aren’t “distancing themselves” from Hanson:

    Dick Hutto, U of Montana
    Bill Baker, U of Wyoming
    Elizabeth Reinhardt, USDA’s Fire Science Lab, Missoula, Montana
    Dominick DellaSala, Geos Institute in Ashland, Oregon
    Stefan Doerr and Cristina Santin, Swansea University in England
    George Wutherner, Ecology author, Helena, Montana

    I think this comment in Wutherner’s article is spot-on:

    To many folks, the removal of dead trees might seem logical and harmless, but snag forests are a critical biological legacy that provides the ecological foundation for forest regeneration. Dick Hutto, professor emeritus of biological sciences at the University of Montana, doesn’t mince words: “The ecological effects [of post-fire logging] are uniformly negative,” he says. They are, he adds, “the strongest and most consistent scientific results ever published on any wildlife management issue.”

    Somehow, this crucial insight still hasn’t permeated the mindset of state and federal forest and fire management agencies. Hutto says that’s because agencies like the Forest Service are still “old boy networks” filled with rangers who honestly think that a healthy forest means a green one that has no beetles, no dead trees, and no fire. This deeply entrenched view sees logging as the solution to almost everything real or imagined that can beset a forest. Those who don’t buy into this view don’t last long in the agency.”

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    • There is no lack of dead trees in the Sierra Nevada. In fact, there are probably more snags in those forests since before the last ice age. Over 100,000,000 dead trees counted seems a bit on the high side, of ‘natural’, to me.

      My ideas for forest restoration and management are:

      1) Restore tree densities to match current annual precipitation levels
      2) Restore species compositions to a more fire resilient mix, on a site-specific basis.
      3) Restore forest structures to an all-aged state, instead of even-aged.

      We cannot accomplish any of that by ‘doing nothing’.

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      • Larry,

        I agree with your recommendations for tree densities and multi-aged structures. However, restoring the species composition to a more “fire-resistant mix” would require human-determined selections, which may be problematic if the species chosen are radically different than the pre-existing mix, and/or they are provided from non-local seed sources. Of course, climate change would have to be factored in when choosing any new assemblage. Ideally, natural reseeding can provide regeneration of the most adapted species, and care must be exercised to ensure that human intrusions do not introduce invasive, non-native species in areas where native species would most likely have reestablished themselves without artificial manipulation.

        Reply
        • What I mean by a different mix is, the same tree species but, in different numbers. In the Sierra Nevada, that might mean fewer cedars and true firs, with more fire resistant ponderosa pine. Bark beetle outbreaks and human-caused firestorms cannot do that. Luckily, the thinning projects in Sierra Nevada National Forests do accomplish some of my goals. It is the pace and scale of this “thinning from below” (under 30″ in diameter) type of logging project that is lacking.

          BTW, there are some older pine plantations around that were planted with ponderosa pines from all across the west. Most of those trees have something wrong with them.

          Reply
    • Snag forests do not provide the ecological foundation for forest regeneration. Live tress that provide a seed source do. I could show many areas of the forest that have salvaged logged and now green and growing. Likewise I show many areas where nothing was done that show very little regeneration. But don’t worry because less that 1% of our burned national forests have been salvage logged.
      It is time stop accusing the FS of being a network of “good old timber boys”. They are all long gone. I would imagine that most employees of the FS now how backgrounds in biology, fire, and recreation.

      Reply

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