Why the West is Burning

SteveA

Gnu to the board
Trees/wood have economic value regardless of where they grow. Letting them burn doesn't. It gives us ashes instead of economic activity. Ashes might be good for soil productivity but it's nothing near the value of the wood. Apples are better than no apples.
Clearly you don't value wilderness. Not surprised.
 

Klickrolf

Active Member
I live in wilderness because it's wilderness, I value it big time. Trees are more valuable if harvested than if they burn up. The economics of sold trees vs. burned trees is pretty obvious. That shouldn't be a surprise to anyone!
 

suckegg

Active Member
From the National Forest Service
Wildfire Causes

Wildfires can be caused by nature—like lava or lightning—but most are caused by humans.

Humans and Wildfire
As many as 90 percent of wildland fires in the United States are caused by humans. Some human-caused fires result from campfires left unattended, the burning of debris, negligently discarded cigarettes and intentional acts of arson. The remaining 10 percent are started by lightning or lava.

human-caused-wildfire-campfire-1.jpg

Cigarettes are one way humans can cause fires.

Nature and Wildfire
Lightning is described as having two components—leaders and strokes. The leader is the probing feeler sent from the cloud. The return streaks of light are a series of strokes that produce the actual lightning bolt or flash that we see.

There are two types of lightning—cold lightning and hot lightning. Cold lightning is a return stroke with intense electrical current but of relatively short duration. Hot lightning has currents with less voltage, but these occur for a longer period of time. Fires are usually started by unusually long-lasting hot lightning bolts.

lightning-over-grand-canyon-public-domain.jpg

Lightning is one of the two natural causes of fires.

Over Labor Day while Jolly Mtn raged I saw two campfires going big time over at Lost Lake. People are idiots and only care about themselves far too often IMO.
 
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SteveA

Gnu to the board
Weak case and, with perhaps the exception of the 9th Circus Court, wouldn't make the bench. Managed responsibly, timber is a renewable resource. Klickrolf is correct.
Let's back up. In my original post I made the point that the reason the Jack Creek fire is being allowed to burn (sensibly, in my view) is that it is entirely within the boundaries of a designated wilderness and presents no danger to private property. Klick and FSA then turn that into a cash for trees screed. Maybe you guys don't understand that I am talking about official wilderness areas within our public lands.

If you are, in fact suggesting, that trees in these wilderness areas should be bought and sold and logged, for cash money, then we will never agree.
 
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Alex MacDonald

that's His Lordship, to you.....
Don't think so, Billy. Pateros burned in the first fire, but a year later was another one. We have several good friends in Winthrop and Mazama. The story we got was, (this is about the first, biggest one) state firefighters and volunteers were ordered to stand down, and not engage the fire. This included the local smokejumpers, who first called it in and were ready to jump on them right away. They were all told to stay out, and then the feds did absolutely nothing until they merged and got out of control. In the big meeting a year later at Brewster, sheriff's deputies had to protect that asshole Goldmark because people were so angry. It was on his orders that state resources were put on hold-according to our friends who attended the meeting. One man died of a heart attack while working to clear a fireline around his property. His wife and friends helping, tried to flag down emergency personnel, but they refused to stop-this from the eye witnesses. Don't know if they could have saved him if they had stopped, but they sure as hell didn't help him.

And I've never allowed either brush or trees anywhere near my home, along with a metal roof, stucco sides.
 

Alex MacDonald

that's His Lordship, to you.....
^^^
Of course it is "exactly why they're letting it go." That was my point.

Disagree with the rest. Doesn't make sense. Were "all the other fires currently not in control" also entirely within a wilderness area? No. Therefore, apples and oranges.

being in a wilderness vs. other areas doesn't impact their new "management" approach. Of course it's cheaper to sit on your ass rather than spend $$ on the fires, and you can't log in any wilderness area, but that's not my point. The FS is letting things go because they can. They're focusing on saving structures and that's it. Looks like they're taking the view that fire is a natural process, and they don't want to interfere with it. Why they leave all the dead burned out trees lying around to add to the next crop of fuel though, is beyond me.
 

Alex MacDonald

that's His Lordship, to you.....
Let's back up. In my original post I made the point that the reason the Jack Creek fire is being allowed to burn (sensibly, in my view) is that it is entirely within the boundaries of a designated wilderness and presents no danger to private property. Klick and FSA then turn that into a cash for trees screed. Maybe you guys don't understand that I am talking about official wilderness areas within our public lands.

If you are, in fact suggesting, that trees in these wilderness areas should be bought and sold and logged, for cash money, then we will never agree.

While I agree with you regarding the logging issue, the fact is that Alpine Lakes was a beautiful area. After this fire, not so much. So while there may be $$ in logging, the wilderness areas are usually set aside because of their beauty. They bring in money because people want to visit. now, not so much.
 

SteveA

Gnu to the board
While I agree with you regarding the logging issue, the fact is that Alpine Lakes was a beautiful area. After this fire, not so much.
“None of Nature’s landscapes are ugly so long as they are wild.” John Muir

So while there may be $$ in logging, the wilderness areas are usually set aside because of their beauty. They bring in money because people want to visit. now, not so much.
Uggh. Money again. Not part of my wilderness ethic.
 

Derek Young

Down By The Riverside
Alex, the long-game is the natural cycles of fire in our forests. It's unfortunate that wilderness areas burn, but it is natural. People don't stop going to National Forests, Parks, or Wilderness Areas because of past fires, in fact the opposite is true.
 

Alex MacDonald

that's His Lordship, to you.....
Alex, the long-game is the natural cycles of fire in our forests. It's unfortunate that wilderness areas burn, but it is natural. People don't stop going to National Forests, Parks, or Wilderness Areas because of past fires, in fact the opposite is true.[/QU

Park tourists are not the major source of Pittman-Robertson funding Derek, but rather the hunters and fishermen of the nation. They in turn, are the ones going into the national forests en masse, and spend considerably more money in that regard. A park visitor or hiker into a wilderness area spends very little compared to the price of licenses, tags, firearms or archery equipment, ammunition (or flies), and there's no excise tax placed on items like sleeping bags and backpacks

what's unfortunate is that since the Big Burn in Idaho and Montana in 1910, the FS has diligently suppressed fires until the understory in some places is impossible to walk through. While fires are of course a natural part of the ecology, FS management over the last century was not. Here again, we see the proof of the mantra "if it absolutely, positively has to be completely fucked up, call the government. Pity they won't look at the way the Iroquois Confederacy managed the forest around their area, but I suppose that's just wishful thinking on my part.
 

Derek Young

Down By The Riverside
Alex, the combined spending of hunting and angling (cited below) was $55B at the time (2012) the data was collected. Camping alone was $143B:

https://www.outsideonline.com/1901171/top-10-outdoor-activities-based-money-spent

Park visits are hitting annual records. Fires are burning across the West in what seems like unstoppable intensity and scope. It hits my personal health and pocketbook; anglers take fewer trips and hunters have less area and game to hunt. It's not a good scenario all around, for sure. What do you suggest?
 
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freestoneangler

Not to be confused with Freestone
Let's back up. In my original post I made the point that the reason the Jack Creek fire is being allowed to burn (sensibly, in my view) is that it is entirely within the boundaries of a designated wilderness and presents no danger to private property. Klick and FSA then turn that into a cash for trees screed. Maybe you guys don't understand that I am talking about official wilderness areas within our public lands.

If you are, in fact suggesting, that trees in these wilderness areas should be bought and sold and logged, for cash money, then we will never agree.

OK, fair enough, I missed that point. Still, some of the wilderness areas have significant stands of dead or dying trees. I'd prefer no logging operations be done in wilderness areas, but leaving all that fuel there to worsen fire intensity and get nothing from it seems dumb.

So we should start employing renewable logging practices in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness?

Not unless there was a compelling case to do so.
 

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