New Topics or Questions from Readers

The purpose of comments on this page is to raise new topics that don’t fit existing posts.

114 thoughts on “New Topics or Questions from Readers”

  1. New PNAS study on area burned and climate change:

    From the abstract: Our results indicate that nearly all the observed increase in BA is due to anthropogenic climate change as historical model simulations accounting for anthropogenic forcing yield 172% (range 84 to 310%) more area burned than simulations with natural forcing only. We detect the signal of combined historical forcing on the observed BA emerging in 2001 with no detectable influence of the natural forcing alone. In addition, even when considering fuel limitations from fire-fuel feedbacks, a 3 to 52% increase in BA relative to the last decades is expected in the next decades (2031 to 2050), highlighting the need for proactive adaptations.

      • Thanks John and Sharon: Osbornes have always been one of my favorite research tools when researching past forest conditions. Most of the work I have done with them has been in western Oregon. Ridgelines were mostly open then, along the routes of ancient Indian Trails, and formed a significant portion of the “natural firebreaks” others have referenced. Other such breaks followed rivers and creeks and lake shorelines and were largely absent of trees and firewood used by fishermen, campers, and nearby residents. You may want to include this link in your post of this article for those interested in more examples:

        • This article was about using the photos to “illustrate the consequences of relentless fire suppression” – not from restrictions on logging adopted to protect old growth habitat (as some seem to think). It also seems focused on “high elevation forests” where logging (or not) is less of a factor.

  2. From the Seattle Times……..shooting of 500,000 barred owls to save spotted owls.

    The wildlife biologist on the Colville National Forest insisted on using the Barred Owl as a indicator species, and we actually set up a very large management area east of the Kettle Crest to protect Barred Owl habitat. The Colville did NOT have spotted owls.

    I did have a long discussion with the wildlife biologist for the Colville and he was fine with the barred owl moving west. I told him I considered it an invasive species. He said it was fine, because the Barred Owl moved into the forest “naturally”.

    Well, somewhat naturally. His take it was the barns and other structures on the plains that allowed the Barred Owl to hopscotch across the Dakota’s and Montana’s to the Colville National Forest.


  3. I had a question about the FY 2024 budget (which is recently approved) and the impacts on USFS Research Stations and R&D. It seems like there is a hiring freeze in at least some (if not all) research stations, and it seems like the discussion is that this is a result of some combination of budget shortfalls in the budget (a small cut) as well as some allocation issues within the Budget Modernization efforts. Does anyone know what is happening here, and if hiring will be starting again anytime soon?

  4. Good Day,
    I am trying to ascertain the process of computing the tons per acre of dead trees and ground fall that esxists in the Rogue River Siskiyou National Forest, Curry County side, that was produced by the Chetco Bar Mega Fire. Where do I start? What are the formulas? Is there an existing Forest Service Data Base, How do general computations account for area specific dead. Are computions stated as an average relative to area or by studing density of specific areas.? Baer report indicated 100,000 acres of dead trees (lidar snapshot in time) and that estimate did not account for subsequent death year two and three. Obviousl I need direction.
    Thank You GRM

  5. This case was mentioned here:
    I found a Claims Court decision from last summer. I don’t know if it’s been appealed.

    The case is a breach of contract claim involving an authorization by the Umatilla National Forest for snowmobile use in the parking lot of the Spout Springs ski area (the plaintiffs). The record indicated that “material interference” by snowmobiling with the contract began at least by 2013, so the lawsuit was not filed within the statute of limitations, and the case was dismissed.


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