articles, etc.

Major shift in national wildfire policy needed   Adam Rissien, WildEarth Guardians, May 17, 2022
Emphasis must be on protecting homes and communities while recognizing the crucial ecosystem benefits that fire provides. Adam Rissien, WildEarth Guardians Rewilding Manager, states “Ultimately, we cannot continue trying to dominate and control nature, especially under the guise of “restoring” the forests.”

New study criticizes predominant strategies of fire suppression and “active management” in forests   Dominick A. DellaSala, Bryant C. Baker, Chad T. Hanson, Luke Ruediger, William Baker, Biological Conservation, Volume 268, April 2022
Scientists authoring a new study advocating 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.

Combustion of Aboveground Wood from Live Trees in Megafires, CA, USA   Mark E. Harmon, Chad T. Hanson, and Dominick A. DellaSala, MDPI, Feb 27, 2022
The authors conclude that low live wood combustion rates in wildfires have important implications for policies related to wildfire emissions and forest management.

The U.S. Forest Service’s Expanding Use of Condition-Based Management   Andrew Cliburn, Paul Quackenbush, Madison Prokott, Jim Murphy and Mason Overstreet, American Bar Association, May 10, 2021
Functional and Legal Problems from Short-Circuiting the Project-Planning and Environmental Impact Statement Process. The Forest Service is currently utilizing condition-based management in the analysis of most logging and fuels treatment projects, including the Santa Fe Mountains Project.

National Forest Roads and Wildfire   Adam Rissien, WildEarth Guardians, Sep 25, 2020
Forest roads increase wildfire risk, affect fire behavior, and cause serious ecological impacts when fire strikes.  See also WildEarth Guardians’ Wildfire and Forest Roads Fact Sheet

Plants are intelligent, here’s how   Paco Calvo, Monica Gagliano, Gustavo M Souza, Anthony Trewavas, Annals of Botany, October 20, 2019
Intelligent behaviour is usually recognized when individual organisms including plants, in the face of fiercely competitive or adverse, real-world circumstances, change their behaviour to improve their probability of survival. This article explains the potential relationship of intelligence to adaptability and emphasizes the need to recognize individual variation in intelligence showing it to be goal directed and thus being purposeful.

New research confirms ‘megafires’ not increasing: Large, high-severity fires are natural in western U.S. forests   Geos Institute, Wild Nature Institute, Sep 11, 2019
A peer-reviewed study by leading experts of forest and fire ecology recently published in the science journal Diversity disputes the widely held belief that “megafires” in U.S national forests are increasing, preventing forests from re-growing, and that logging is necessary to prevent these wildfires.

Don’t be fooled by fake forests   Dominick DellaSala, Oregon Wildblog, Feb 25, 2019
Dr. DellaSala explains the difference between a real forest, a natural forest that has ecological integrity, and a fake forest, that has been logged, thinned, replanted, or otherwise re-designed by humans.

Treat homes, not forests, to reduce wildfire risk   George Wuerthner, The Wildlife News, Feb 17, 2019
Recently Trump used his executive authority to mandate increased logging and thinning of our public lands with the goal of reducing wildfire threat to communities, However, the latest fire science suggests that starting from the home and working outwards is the most effect way to reduce the risk of fire to communities, and that logging and thinning out in the forest does not significantly help.

Common Myths about Forests and Fire   John Muir Project, Jan 27, 2019
Fact sheet by the John Muir Project of the Earth Island Institute concerning topics such as effects of wildland fire, home protection from wildland fire, are forests “overgrown,” and does prescribed burning reduce smoke particulates in our air overall.

Forest Protection in the Trump Era   Douglas Bevington, ReWildinh Earth, Jun 19, 2018
While the Trump administration is weakening NEPA, our bedrock environmental law, a schism is developing between conservation organizations. Some are accepting the “logging, thinning and burning is beneficial for our forests” paradigm, while others are embracing the scientific view that mixed-severity fire is natural and promotes biodiversity in our forests, and that protected forests burn less severely.

Everything you wanted to know about wildland fires in forests but were afraid to ask: Lessons learned, ways forward   Dominick A. DellaSala, PhD, Timothy Ingalsbee, PhD, Chad T. Hanson, PhD   Mar 30, 2018
This white paper summarizes some of the latest science around top-line wildfire issues, including areas of scientific agreement, disagreement, and ways to coexist with wildfire.

Do Trees Talk to Each Others?     Richard Grant, Smithsonian Magazine, March, 2018
A controversial German forester says yes, and his ideas are shaking up the scientific world. He presents an exploration of the science and controversy concerning whether trees intentionally communicate and share nutrients though an underground web of mycorrhizal fungi.

Defensible Space: The Best and Only Hope for the Homeowner In or Near a Forest   Andy Kerr, Public Lands Blog, Jan 12, 2018
Homeowners in the wildland/urban interface have a responsibility to protect their homes and their neighbors’ homes from fire. Andy Kerr provides a simple step-by-step guide on how to create defensible space around your home.

Let Forest Fires Burn? What the Black-Backed Woodpecker Knows   Justin Gills, Aug 6, 2017
Is it worth trying to fight fires away from structures, or should they be left to burn? The ecological value of burned forests.

Exploring Solutions to Reduce Risks of Catastrophic Wildfire and Improve Resilience of National Forests   Testimony of Dr. Dominick DellaSala, Chief Scientist, Geos Institute, Before the U.S. House of Representatives Natural Resources Committee, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, Sept 27, 2017
Dr. DellaSala makes the case that proposals calling for increased logging and other forest fuel treatments and decreased environmental review in response to wildfires and insect outbreaks are not science driven, in many cases may make problems worse, and will not stem rising wildfire suppression costs.

Caring, Killing, Euphemism and George Orwell: How Language Choice Undercuts Our Mission    David Johns and Dominick DellaSala, Portland State University, Political Science Faculty Publications and Presentations, Jul 1, 2017
Discussion of how forest and fire ecology euphemisms mask the indefensible, and those in the conservation community should not engage with the use of such misleading terms.

Air pollution below EPA standards linked with higher death rates   Harvard School of Public Health news release, Jun 3, 2015.
A 2015 study by researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that death rates among people over 65 are higher in zip codes with more fine particulate air pollution (PM2.5) than in those with lower levels of PM2.5. PM2.5 is the most harmful component of wood smoke, including smoke from prescribed burns. The harmful effects from the particles were observed even in areas where concentrations were less than a third of the current standard set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Praise the Dead: The Ecological Values of Dead Tree   George Wuerthner
Dead trees are very important to forest ecology. This article explains the myriad ecological processes that are supported by dead trees in our forests.

The Forest Advocate
Santa Fe, New Mexico