FIRE OVER FIRE Lee Hai
The great turning,
Mountains are ablaze….
Through the smoke filled sky,
Sun emerges dressed bright
in orange and red.
Like Autumn leaves,
voicing the ancient trees’ songs,
‘I am Alive, I will Be again!’
Every death ushers in a new rebirth
Dream deep and true……
The Phoenix’s brilliancy rising
from its ashes…….
The Hermits Peak Fire, an escaped prescribed burn, and the Calf Canyon Fire have grown to become the second largest wildfire complex in New Mexico history. See the current status of the Hermits Peak Fire on InciWeb.
Urge them to support an Environmental Impact Statement and a much more conservationist approach for the Santa Fe Mountains Project.
Join Los Padres ForestWatch and John Muir Project for a webinar featuring a panel of independent scientists & field analysts as they discuss how modern fire suppression tactics and forest management techniques are impacting forests in the western U.S. Recorded March 30th, 2022.
If you wrote draft EA comments or scoping comments for the Santa Fe Mountains Project, you have the right to object to the Forest Service’s Finding of No Significant Impact decision. Please do so, as the prescribed burn caused fire has shown us how critical it is to engage in protecting our forest, our communities and our health.
During a recent US House Subcommittee on the Environment hearing on wildfire prevention, conservation scientist Dominick DellaSala and environmental advocate Carole King pushed back against the widespread cutting and burning paradigm advocated by Forest Service Chief Randy Moore. Watch:
Sarah Hyden and environmental medicine physician Erica Elliott discuss the impacts of prescribed burn smoke on public health with KTRC’s Richard Eeds.
Scientists authoring a new study advocate for placing restrictive bounds on the prevailing and heavily funded command-and-control fire suppression methods and the MegaFire Active Management Approach for containing wildfire. These strategies are increasingly ineffective in our changing climate and contribute to the global biodiversity and climate crises.
A new study by conservation scientist Chad Hanson of the 2021 Antelope Fire in California shows that areas commercially thinned were associated with significantly higher overall tree mortality levels than unthinned areas. The study suggests that this is a result of tree mortality from thinning itself, prior to the occurrence of the wildfire, not generally being taken into account. This leaves unreported a potentially important source of tree loss and associated forest carbon loss.
“Presumed forest health and reduced fire severity associated with thinning are overhyped by organizations, special interest groups and industries with direct financial interests in federal lands logging, and by politicians promoting logging-related snake oil as fire-risk reduction. This, in turn, creates a false sense of security,” write Dominick DellaSala and Luke Ruediger in Ashland.news.
The Western Environmental Law Center and five other conservation groups led a petition to the Council on Environmental Quality, requesting that they disallow use of the “condition-based approach” for project analysis because it fails to provide the “where,” “when,” and “how” of project implementation. A total of 82 organizations (including The Forest Advocate) signed onto the incisive letter.
with conservation scientist
A presentation and discussion about how the Forest Service’s Santa Fe Mountains Project impacts our forest and all of us, and what we can do about it.
The time for a response has come.
The Forest Service and collaborating agencies and organizations often state that if we don’t breathe smoke from prescribed burns, we’re going to be breathing at least as much, or likely more, from wildfire instead. The Forest Advocate finds any implication of such an equivalence to be highly misleading; please read our comments to the Forest Service about this.
Urge them to support an Environmental Impact Statement and a much more conservationist approach for the Santa Fe Mountains Project. Contact information for representatives is here.
Dominick DellaSala and Sarah Hyden discuss the Santa Fe Mountains Project on KTRC’s Richard Eeds Show, 10/01/2021
Chad Hanson — The U.S. Forest Service clears trees from public lands in the name of fire prevention, but it doesn’t work. There are better strategies to protect communities, but don’t expect to hear about them from the logging industry.
“We’ve seen one historic, thriving mountain town after another destroyed by fires in recent years. It’s almost entirely avoidable and preventable if we focus directly on community protection. Instead, public funds are going toward chainsaws and bulldozers in the forest. That will only make climate change worse, damage wildlife habitat, and put communities at greater risk. And that’s not protecting forests or people.”
A New York Times article describes how trees and other plants are interconnected under the forest floor though a vast network of mycorrhizal fungi, and share resources. Aggressive tree cutting disrupts and destroys the network, degrading forests.
“An old-growth forest is neither an assemblage of stoic organisms tolerating one another’s presence nor a merciless battle royale: It’s a vast, ancient and intricate society.”
George Wuerthner comments on a lawsuit declaration by atmospheric physicist Dr. Joseph Werne. Werne concludes that “By omitting atmospheric dynamics and wind-drag effects associated with vegetation treatments, fuels reductions designed to reduce fire intensity and fire spread are undoubtedly producing the opposite effect.”
To create effective fire policies, we need to face these facts — prescribed fire increases fire and smoke, is inefficient for public safety compared to home retrofits, and is inefficient for ecological restoration compared to managed wildfire.
WildEarth Guardians webinar with Executive Director John Horning and ecologists Chad Hanson and Monica Bond discussing regeneration in burned forests, the necessity of mixed-intensity fire in forest ecosystems, and the ecological issues of forest thinning and burning treatments.
The Forest Service should know how prescribed burn smoke is affecting area residents.
Jack Cohen and Dave Strohmaier explain in Wildfire Today why we must abandon our expectation that we can suppress 100% of wildfires and reject the false narrative that community protection requires wildfire control. . . Instead, let’s focus on mitigating WU fire risk where ignitions are determined – within the home ignition zone.
Does thinning and burning our forests reduce wildfire risk?
The Forest Advocate provides a balanced view of important considerations for protecting ourselves, our homes, and our forests from wildfire, and about the natural and beneficial role of fire in our forest.
How do forests recover after disturbance? This 4 minute animated film from the Old-Growth Forest Network takes you on a journey that represents 300 years in the life of a forest. See how structure and biodiversity recover naturally, and how continued management like thinning and harvesting interferes with recovery.
The Forest Advocate
Santa Fe, New Mexico