Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Cost of Wilfires vs. Management

The year 2012 was a bad year for our forests and lands in America. Whether it be tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, or forest and range fires, we are under the wrath of Mother Nature.
Forest fires are nothing new in America. They've been occurring for thousands of years. However, the forest and range fires that we see in recent times are more catastrophic than probably any time in history! WHY?
One of the major reasons is our lack of understanding and commitment to land mangement. Take our forests as the big example. Is our choice to just put  the fires put out when they occur, rather than allow our forests to be managed on time and by plan? Take the U.S. Forest Service for example. Almost anywhere in this country, we have lawsuits against the Forest Service to prohibit "managing" the forests. There are many reasons for these "protests against management". Unfortunately, the forestry business has been the biggest reason for the "distrust" of management. Clearcuts of the past, too many roads, erosion that chokes out salmon runs, "ugly" scenes from the roads, heavy equipment tearing up the soil, old growth trees nearly gone from the lanscape, and you can add your own reasons for the attitude problem toward management. Even though this sentiment may exist, when there is good reason to "cut" trees and carryout MANAGEMENT PLANS that have gone through intense public scrutiny, we balk at the "cut".
Instead what we have scene brewing since settlement times in America, is a thickening of our vegetation until it chokes out the health of the stands. These dense forests become predisposed to insect and disease. which of course leads to many catastrophic fires. As we have built our homes into the landscape, we now have in many instances, eliminated the choice of natural burns to occur. It is just too dangerous in most cases to let these fires burn. The natural fire regime has been altered.
Fire suppression is extremely costly in so many arenas beyond budgets.
Should we not "budget" our resouces to manage vs. non-management?

Monday, November 5, 2012

Our Forests in Bad Shape??

Our Forests in Bad Shape??...what does that mean?
Many of our politicians are now asking for funds to manage our forests, why?
The condition of our forest lands have been in serious need of management ever since we settled the United States.
Management happens in large part out of economic and fiscal necessity. Asking now to "manage" our public and private forests lands is too late in many cases. For years, foresters and land managers of all sorts have recommended and "prescribed" the "management" of our forest lands long before we had millions of "dead" trees. In many instances we have dying forests due to overcrowded (dense) stands. The overcrowded forests in many instances stem from politics, policies, lack of funds, complacency, and/or lack of understanding on how best to manage these lands.
In addition, there is a large part of the population that just does not want to see trees cut...period.
Managing our forests starts when the stands are in their growth stages and beyond, not just when there are thousands of acres of dead trees.

To Manage or Not to Manage...that IS the direction...
see what one forester has to say

Sunday, November 4, 2012


Did You Know? 

bees please Household insecticides may be playing a role in declining bee populations. Vera Krischik, department of entomology, and her lab are exploring how a group of insecticides, called neonicotinoids, might be making bees less resistant to parasites and pathogens that contribute to Colony Collapse Disorder, where worker bees in a colony abruptly disappear. Honey bees who are exposed to insecticides have problems flying and finding their way back to the hive, lose their sense of taste and have more difficulty learning new tasks. Roughly two-thirds of the world's crops rely on bees for pollination. So if the bees are in decline, many fruits, vegetables and other plant based foods are going to decline with them. Learn More Here!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Are We Rich?

"How rich will we be when we have converted all our forests, all our soil, all our water resources and mineral into cash?"
...Ding Darling, founder of the Duck Stamp program and first director of what became the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service