Lower amounts of snowfall presage dangers and pitfalls of pile burning and broadcast burning in a drying climate. At the same time, too much snow in parts of the Rockies, as well as health concerns about smoke, are limiting prescribed burning efforts in different ways. As a result, the Forest Service’s recently announced “Wildfire Climate Strategy” is facing challenges.
Santa Fe National Forest has released previously unavailable documents which were cited in the “Literature Cited” section of the project’s environmental assessment. Topics include air quality, cultural resources, Inventoried Roadless Areas, and much more. Browse the literature.
Wildfire Today: Findings from a new study led by Oregon State University contradicts the common narrative of destructive wildfire igniting on remote public land before spreading to threaten communities. The 22,000 fire study found that fires crossing jurisdictional boundaries are primarily caused by people on private property.
The New Mexico Forest and Watershed Restoration Institute will oversee creating a national database to gauge how well methods such as prescribed burns and tree thinning prevent wildfires and improve forests’ health. The effort will be funded by $20 million over five years out of the $5.4 billion allocated by the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act towards wildfire mitigation and forest restoration.
George Wuerthner’s words from 2018 are resonating today more than ever: “As a generalization, there is overwhelming representation in such collaboratives by people who speak for the resource extraction industry or their sympathizers… Those advocating for Nature are seldom present or only weakly represented by the larger environmental groups.”
“According to proponents, a ‘hundred years of fire suppression’ has permitted the build-up of fuels, and by their assertion, more fuel results in larger conflagrations.
However, at best, this ‘fire suppression’ narrative is hyperbole.”
Read George Wuerthner’s deconstruction of the dominant narrative — in Counterpunch.
The Forest Advocate
Santa Fe, New Mexico