There is nothing new, normal, natural, or inevitable about what we are witnessing... What we are witnessing is not “the new normal.” Nor is it a direct result of “climate change.” It is the downstream result of congressional/federal failure to control three decades of uninterrupted tree growth in national forests that hold too many trees for the natural carrying capacity of the land.
A call to action to create forest-to-community health within the WUI/Wildland Urban Interface - and an overview of the current state of the forest, wildfire risk, needed treatment, and landowner and community resources in Lincoln County.
Now that Congress has resolved the fire funding mess – at least temporarily - Interim Forest Service Chief, Vicki Christiansen, has had much to say about how she intends to more aggressively attack these fires and their primary underlying cause.
Because it took us more than 30 years to bridge our chasm, some 90 million National Forest acres – an area nearly as large as Montana – are dying or are already dead. We have no more than 30 years left in which to rescue what can be rescued.
The U.S. House of Representatives has belatedly fixed the fire borrowing mess that has for several years forced the Forest Service to borrow taxpayer money from its forest restoration budgets to pay its ever- increasing fire-fighting bills.
The salvage operation was not without controversy. The smoke had not yet cleared when environmentalists announced that “not one black stick would be harvested because salvaging burnt timber was like mugging a burn victim.”
Our colleague, Bruce Courtright, who chairs the National Wildfire Institute [NWI] at Fort Jones, California, has shared his organization's Vision 2025 document with us in hopes we will share it with you, which we are delighted to do.
Many environmentalists have long insisted that people living in rural areas should have no say in how neighboring National Forests are managed because  they have a “timber bias,” or  they lack the intellectual credentials needed to participate in the decision-making process. We all know this isn't true.
The Forest Service's abysmal won-loss record at Silver, Biscuit and now Chetco Bar [0-3] is a detriment to every living creature struggling to right itself within our fire-scarred landscape. Is this the best you can do?
The bottom line here is that the War on the West will continue in the halls of Congress for as long as we allow it - and for as long as we allow it to fester, the West's publicly treasured National Forests will continue to die and burn to the ground.
We who own this damned wildfire mess need to start asking Congress some tough questions. I can think of no better place to start than the Forest Service's draft plan for picking up the pieces at Rice Ridge. Of 160,000 acres burned, the agency proposes to salvage some standing dead timber from 5,947 acres.
The American Cancer Society and the American Lung Association both have lots to say about cigarettes and air pollution. And they should. It's their job. Shouldn’t they also be waving red flags about wildfire smoke? They don’t seem to think so.
Musk's “flamethrower,” which sells for $500 and looks a lot like an assault rifle [probably intentionally] has already attracted the unwanted attention of U.S. Customs officials, prompting Musk to Twitter that a “rebranding” effort may be needed. No kidding.
This must be a bitter pill for Seeley Lake residents who last summer endured weeks of smoke so thick that air quality meters could not accurately measure carcinogenic pollutants generated by the fire. The “new normal” we're told.
Just when I thought I'd said all that need be said for now about the cancerous risks of wildfire smoke, a friend sent me a copy of the “Montana/Idaho Wildfire Carbon Emissions Inventory for 2013-2017."
I've been trying for more than 20 years to interest the nation’s health care industry - including the American Lung Association - in this story. “Too controversial,” I was told, again and again. Such is the murderous influence of the “Don’t worry, it’s natural” crowd.
We can learn much from our nation's forest priorities, policies and practices, which have always tracked with our country’s ever-shifting felt necessities. But the blame game is a useless and unhelpful exercise. What would be helpful is a more constructive rural-urban dialogue about the losses we are all suffering, and what we can do collectively [politically] to mitigate them.
When we leave forests to Nature, as so many people today seem to want to do, we get whatever Nature serves up, which can be pretty devastating at times. But with forestry we have options, and a degree of predictability not found in Nature.
A sea change in how federal judges view collaborative forest restoration is underway. The transformation is revealed in the anatomy of two recent rulings.
If we choose wisely, relying on the mechanical thinning, prescribed fire and managed fire, we can still protect most of our remaining forest assets, including the soil and water. But over much of the Intermountain West, the forests in our future are not going to look much like the forests we've been enjoying for the last 60 or 70 years.
In this interview, Rodney Smoldon discusses the use of innovative management tools to reduce the risk of wildfire in Northeast Washington.
Costs related to the suppression of wildfires are soaring to over one billion tax dollars per year, causing a fiscal crisis in the Forest Service.
Counties on Fire is an initiative to save our national forests from the destruction of fires brought on by mismanagement and lack of education.