Green Fury: California Fires Caused by Environmentalists, Not Climate Change

The low-to-moderate intensity surface fire in this prescribed burn will lower the fuel load in this forest in the Lake Tahoe Basin. CREDIT
Alan H. Taylor

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Greens have reacted with fury at Trump Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke‘s suggestion that opposition to sensible forestry management is exacerbating fire risks.

Wildfires seem unstoppable, but they can be prevented. Here’s how.

Ryan Zinke, Opinion contributor Published 6:00 a.m. ET Aug. 8, 2018

Actively managing our forests benefits the environment, the economy, and most important, it saves lives.

The flames of the Ferguson Fire in California have become the latest symbols of a seemingly perennial challenge of fighting fires in the West. I just returned from the Ferguson Fire camp, where I met with firefighters who are working to combat the fire as it bears down on Yosemite National Park and its visitors, workers and nearby residents.

Why we need to manage our forests

There are three reasons for active forest management:

First, it is better for the environment to manage the forests. Wildfires produce smoke and emissions. The release of gases and particles can negatively affect air quality. Fires also damage watersheds, and as we see fires burning hotter and longer, the soil is actually becoming scorched and sterilized, preventing regrowth. In addition, while many of the frivolous lawsuits waged to stop timber harvests cite habitat as a concern, environmental litigants are little concerned when an entire forest burns to the ground and the habitat and wildlife are lost.

Second, active forest management is good for the economy. Logs come out of the forest in one of two ways: They are either harvested sustainably to improve the health and resilience of the forest (while creating jobs), or they are burned to the ground. Jobs matter, and logging has long been a cornerstone of rural economies. Fortunately for all, these economic benefits go hand-in-hand with our goal of healthy forests.

Third, and most important, the active management of our forests will save lives. The Carr Fire in northern California has already claimed half a dozen lives, and the Ferguson Fire has taken the lives of two firefighters. Sadly, these are not the only wildfire casualties this year.

Every year we watch our forests burn, and every year there is a call for action. Yet, when action comes, and we try to thin forests of dead and dying timber, or we try to sustainably harvest timber from dense and fire-prone areas, we are attacked with frivolous litigation from radical environmentalists who would rather see forests and communities burn than see a logger in the woods.

Read more: https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2018/08/08/active-forest-management-prevent-wildfires-column/913801002/

Seems sensible – if you clear or burn off excess undergrowth and log a few trees, reduce the amount of fuel, when a fire starts there will be less fuel available to burn.

Not according to greens.

‘No, Secretary Zinke. Record-Breaking Wildfires in California Have Everything to Do with Climate Change’

People who actual understand science, and also care about planet’s future, accuse Interior Secretary of “either being willfully ignorant or purposely deceptive.”

by Jon Queally, staff writer

After U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke over the weekend outrageously and falsely declared that the largest wildfires in the history of California have “nothing to do with climate change,” it was up to people who actually understand the science—and give a shit about the future of the planet—to set him straight.

Read more: https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/08/14/no-secretary-zinke-record-breaking-wildfires-california-have-everything-do-climate

My question – why do US greens seem to believe advocating forestry management is synonymous with opposing climate action?

Surely it is possible to be concerned about climate change, yet also support sensible forestry management policies.

In my native Australia the issue of forestry management is barely a debate anymore. It is common in winter to see controlled burn operations to clear undergrowth, even in states with green governments, because the alternative is unthinkable. Australia might be famous for our catastrophic bushfires, but we have learned through bitter experience that forestry management mitigates the risk.

Lives will be saved if US greens drop their senseless opposition to effective forestry management.

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Frederick Michael
August 14, 2018 9:08 pm

This one is too obvious for the leftists to spin their way out of. That’s why there’s no longer a debate in Australia. The same thing will happen here.

There’s a limit to denial.

Bryan A
Reply to  Frederick Michael
August 14, 2018 10:17 pm

Between green fury and Google garbage searches the world is quickly going to Helena Handbasket.
Just did a Google search for Ferguson fire burn zone
This was the result (warning contains questionable sites, not suggested to click through)
https://www.google.ca/search? as_q=&as_epq=Ferguson+fire+burn+zone&as_oq=&as_eq=&as_nlo=&as_nhi=&lr=&cr=&as_qdr=all&as_sitesearch=&as_occt=any&safe=images&as_filetype=&as_rights=

1 news article and 4 porn listings. What is Google thinking??

Reply to  Bryan A
August 15, 2018 2:59 am

Don’t use Google. Use DuckDuckGo.

Edwin
Reply to  Frederick Michael
August 15, 2018 11:19 am

Frederick, sorry there is no limit to denial, most especially in the USA. After catastrophic fires in the early 1990s, where the affected property owners were up in arms demanding things be done differently, a decade later opinions and beliefs were back to where they had been prior to the fires. One of our problems in the USA is the really short attention span and the lack of historical perspective. The lack of honest historical perspective is due to poor quality education.

We battle in our state over issues that began well over a century ago. Example, draining wetlands started at the end of the 19th Century. Some people, especially the environmentalists, act as if it all only happened since such in such person, usually a Republican, was elected. Remind any liberal or environmentalists in any SE US state that Democrats have controlled their states since Reconstruction through ca1990s and they just give you a blank stare.

Reply to  Frederick Michael
August 17, 2018 11:30 am

Frederick, we can be more specific about the facts climatists like Brown are denying.
1. The World and the US are not burning.
2. Public forests are no longer managed due to litigation.
3. Mega fires are the unnatural result of fire suppression.
4. Bad federal forest administration started in 1990s.
5. True environmentalism is not nature love, but nature management.
https://rclutz.wordpress.com/2018/08/17/why-the-left-coast-is-burning/

August 14, 2018 9:13 pm

Exactly right, in Australia bushfires are far less numerous or severe than they used to be. The huge fire in Victoria in 1851 which was caused by loss of indigenous fire control and neglect by settlers, has never been repeated, as people became aware of the terrible hazard. At the height of that destruction on Black Thursday, 6 February 1851, fires covered a quarter of what is now Victoria (approximately 5 million hectares). At present (winter) in the cool season there are daily burn-offs near Sydney and elsewhere in high hazard areas to reduce fuel load and undergrowth constantly. Even the Greenies are on board with this in all states, as they know the alternative.

Malcolm andrew bryer
Reply to  Nicholas Tesdorf
August 14, 2018 11:16 pm

Bernie Sanders is no fool so his reaction must be to cling on to young followers i.e. it is pure political cynicism.

Yirgach
Reply to  Malcolm andrew bryer
August 15, 2018 9:06 am

Bernie is a pure-as-the-snow-flies socialist.
Not only that, but a socialist at the top of the heap.
An extremely wealthy socialist, who aims to stay that way by using OPM.
I always like to tell the local Bernie fans (here in VT) how much he is worth (all in his wife’s name of course) and watch their brains short circuit…

D Cage
Reply to  Yirgach
August 15, 2018 10:45 am

Don’t you mean how much he has acquired which is hugely different to what he is worth?

Barbara
Reply to  Malcolm andrew bryer
August 15, 2018 5:40 pm

“Bernie Sanders is no fool”

Assumes facts not in evidence.

August 14, 2018 9:23 pm

Love exploding Liberal heads. Drive them to fits of rage please!
Progressives hate hearing the truth. Keep pushing back on their lunacy.
And I note Eric Holthaus came out of his SafeSpace to comment. He must be on his meds.

beng135
Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
August 15, 2018 6:27 am

Agree, it’s so easy to trigger ’em. Just put a couple trigger words in (Trump), and they blather and stutter, run around in circles, cry and wring hands, grind teeth, etc.

RockyRoad
August 14, 2018 9:24 pm

Forest fires take $millions to fight and consume $millions in forest products. The consequence is the ugliest scene on planet earth, and many fires claim lives.

But leave it to the Greenies/Leftists to be amazingly stupid in their denial and excuses. (Maybe “climate change” is such a panacea excuse they can’t get through life without it…)

McComber Boy
Reply to  RockyRoad
August 15, 2018 8:03 am

‘…Greenies/Leftists…religious beliefs cause them to be stupid in their denial and excuses. This is all about virtue signaling. Of making a burnt offering of trees and brush and houses and wildlife and, yes, even people.

Climate change!? Pfffh! Drought? Every summer is a drought in California. Every summer it gets hot and dry. And with torrential rains winter before last (Does anyone remember Oroville Dam in near collapse?) there was amazing brush and tree growth that is now hot and dry. Just like it is every summer. And when a knucklehead accidentally or purposefully sets it on fire IT WILL BURN SPECTACULARLY!, just like it always has.

We need a new version of the old CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) to go out into the woods and thin, grub, and improve the timber for use by humans. What better way to sequester carbon (if that is your bent) than to lock it up in trees and then turn those trees in to lumber for all kinds of use. Thinned stands of trees are not nearly as susceptible to bark beetles and other pests. Thinned stands of trees withstand fire better than unmanaged forest lands. Even one tenth of the current fire fighting budget could make a difference over time.

We need timber sales on federal land the mandate the thinning of non-salable trees and brush to take the fire load out of the forest. We could even sell the material to the Brits for their insane wood fired boilers. Or make some of our own boilers. Fire suppression makes sense when other means are employed to maintain healthy, renewable forests. It makes no sense to burn all down man…as these progeny of the 60’s echo the cries of their forbears and we continue to pay the consequences.

Stanny1
August 14, 2018 9:26 pm

A few years ago, the U.S. Forest Service had a conference on PYROTERRORISM. Arson is encouraged against Infidels as JIHAD. Plans exist on the internet for the manufacture of remote-controlled incendiary devices. Nothing else explains the increased frequency and perceived randomness of these fires. Unfortunately, it is not politically correct to even discuss the possibility of Pyroterrorism even though it is discussed within the U.S. Forest Service.

commieBob
Reply to  Stanny1
August 14, 2018 9:50 pm

There is eco-terrorism. People have been convicted and sent to prison so its existence is not just a conspiracy theory. Yes, there are some really vile nutters out there.

Bryan A
Reply to  commieBob
August 14, 2018 10:33 pm

And as far as Forrest mismanagement having contributory negligence goes, go to 37.7417443, -119.8246753 and look at all the deadwood right in the middle of the Ferguson fire area. Pan around and all you see is more of the same

Editor
Reply to  Bryan A
August 14, 2018 10:50 pm

Forrest mismanagement

That was a handful even for General Sherman.

Juan Slayton
Reply to  Evan Jones
August 15, 2018 12:52 am

I’ll Grant you that.

GregK
Reply to  Evan Jones
August 15, 2018 2:48 am

Sherman was a great mismanager.
He managed [mismanaged] to extend the Civil War for over 100 years

Russ Wood
Reply to  Stanny1
August 16, 2018 7:41 am

“Pyroterrorism” is currently in action on the Gaza/Israel border, where HAMAS is encouraging youths to fly kites with incendiary devices over Israeli farmland and nature reserves.

Alan Tomalty
August 14, 2018 9:30 pm

Special question to Nick and all alarmists

Nick just so we can be clear about this. Do you agree that John Christy and Roy Spencer would never fudge the UAH figures? Because if the climate was truly headed for disaster and they knowingly made things look like everything was all right that would be like committing suicide or treason, right? Therefore we can all keep debating with bated breath on the UAH results. Climate science will live or die on the UAH satellite data cause its the only data that both sides trust? Correct?

JonScott
Reply to  Alan Tomalty
August 14, 2018 10:47 pm

Sadly it is not. You are lacking two vital pieces of infirmation. One is timescale and the other quite simply is the lack of ANY statistically significant data sets which PROVE man = temperature increase and second climate change. Anyone claiming the contrary is either a fool or a liar. There is no third position. I am sure like me you have developed an awareness which is a very western opinion, of the place of man on the planet. Feelings are not facts. Now I lsten to so many people who have been sensitized on this issue to the point of absurdity. You have every right to believe in what you want but do not confuse belief with fact and the bottom line is WE DO NOT KNOW. Be objective and realize there are a lot of people who profit from the climate industry. The Canutian idea that man causes climate and can control it is to defy basic principles of physics. You live in a warm period in a glaciation. Feel very very lucky and celebrate that fact.

Cube
Reply to  JonScott
August 15, 2018 5:15 am

>>Feelings are not facts. <<
++

Alan Tomalty
Reply to  JonScott
August 15, 2018 9:49 am

If the UAH temperature dataset eventually shows catastrophic warming then I am willing to concede that I and other skeptics have been wrong all along and that something is wrong and that maybe CO2 is the cause. We skeptics live and die by good data and the UAH set is good data. I simply want to know whether the alarmists will concede their side of the argument if the above shows not to be the case.

Reply to  JonScott
August 15, 2018 11:37 am

Not a Canutian idea. Canute did what he did to demonstrate that no mortal king could control nature, operated by GOD. But your points are otherwise sound. A quick survey of the facts makes it clear that nothing changes significantly in a human life, or several, and relocation in the event of peristent one way change can be organised over many, many lifetimes, far longer than the life of most cities. As will be required when the ice returns and the shorelines disappear 100m downhill again, as certainly as we orbit eccentrically around the Sun. . As a clincher, check out what happens at the end of an interglacial warming, in a short 7Ka rise of c.0.001 deg pa. It stops in less than 1Ka, mainly due to clouds, ignoring increasing CO2 completely. Clouds are simply the massive control of solar insolation, deliver 140W/m^2 of cloud control feedback from evaporation and albedo that make a great job of keeping us inside the narrow range of ice age temperatures. More than powerful enough to manage a few W/m^2 from trace gasses. And then there are the bio feedbacks the models ignore…etc.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Alan Tomalty
August 15, 2018 6:19 am

Off topic.

Michael Jankowski
Reply to  Alan Tomalty
August 15, 2018 11:33 am

Nick brushes (no pun intended) aside the UAH data during WUWT discussions because it doesn’t directly measure “surface” temps. He ignores/pretends to ignore that climate science says the UAH data should be warming at least as fast as the surface and often much faster (depending on location).

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Michael Jankowski
August 15, 2018 5:16 pm

Balloon data verifies the satellite temperature data

http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/catalog/satellite/msu/comments.html

VERIFYING THE ACCURACY OF MSU MEASUREMENTS

A recent comparison (1) of temperature readings from two major climate monitoring systems – microwave sounding units on satellites and thermometers suspended below helium balloons – found a “remarkable” level of agreement between the two.
To verify the accuracy of temperature data collected by microwave sounding units, John Christy compared temperature readings recorded by “radiosonde” thermometers to temperatures reported by the satellites as they orbited over the balloon launch sites.

He found a 97 percent correlation over the 16-year period of the study. The overall composite temperature trends at those sites agreed to within 0.03 degrees Celsius (about 0.054° Fahrenheit) per decade. The same results were found when considering only stations in the polar or arctic regions.”

end excerpt

Now they need to compare the balloon data to the bogus, bastardized Hockey Stick surface data.

One more thought: Which satellite do the balloons favor now that adjustments have been made to RSS to bring it more in line with the bogus, bastardized Hockey Stick charts?

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Tom Abbott
August 15, 2018 5:36 pm

I guess since the balloons have already confirmed the satellite temperature data, we don’t really need to compare the balloon data to the bogus, bastardized Hockey Stick chart, we can just compare the Hockey Stick to the UAH satellite data and we will see how far off base the Hockey Stick really is.

Here’s one of those bogus, bastardized Hockey Stick charts:

comment image

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Tom Abbott
August 15, 2018 5:38 pm

And here’s the UAH satellite chart:

comment image

It looks like the bogus, bastardized Hockey Stick chart is Waaaay off! 🙂

hunter
Reply to  Michael Jankowski
August 16, 2018 5:33 am

But you are talkung about Nick….
facts and reason are a seperate issue.

lee
August 14, 2018 9:35 pm

“After U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke over the weekend outrageously and falsely declared that the largest wildfires in the history of California have “nothing to do with climate change,” it was up to people who actually understand the science—and give a shit about the future of the planet—to set him straight.”

And then they opt for Bernie Sanders?

MarkW
Reply to  lee
August 15, 2018 6:34 am

He’s the one who’s promising them the most free stuff.

AWG
Reply to  lee
August 15, 2018 5:25 pm

“… who actually understand the science …”

I assume the “science” in question here is “political science”. The cursing in Queally’s outburst indicates emotion rather than intellect. (I also assume one can proof-read before posting). Other than that, are we supposed to be persuaded by hand-waving, unsubstantiated claims and hysteria?

commieBob
August 14, 2018 9:36 pm

… either being willfully ignorant or purposely deceptive …

Look in the mirror Bernie.

August 14, 2018 9:37 pm

The one thing to note is that the Interior Department has responsibility for US National Parks and BLM lands. But National Forests are under the control of Department of Agriculture.

The culture in those two agencies couldn’t be more different.
Think blue for Interior.
Think red for agriculture.

Zinke running Interior is undoubtedly triggering many TDS paroxysms of weeping and teeth gnashing in Interior bureaucrats, just as Pruitt and now former coal executive Andrew Wheeler is shaking things up at EPA.
But Forestry under DOAg still advocates equitable forest use by all “stakeholders” including logging and mining companies. Logging companies also prioritize harvest over control burns, because they see that as product.

Theo
Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
August 14, 2018 9:40 pm

Joel,

In recent decades, the USFS has become much more like the Interior Dept.

It can’t build any more roads. They’re already built. It can’t log any more, since now Forest Supervisors tend not to be from the lumber or grazing end of the business but recreation, water supply, species protection, historical architecture preservation, etc.

And instead of old, white, straight men, they tend to be lesbians. And like the BLM, they hate private ownership within forest boundaries, and anywhere near them.

Reply to  Theo
August 14, 2018 9:47 pm

USFS regulations and statutory guidance from Congress are still very different from NPS.

Theo
Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
August 14, 2018 9:53 pm

Joel,

Yes, obviously National Park Service operates under different rules from National Forests. But the Interior Department is much more than the NPS.

Unfortunately, we in the Intermountain West must deal with the Nazi-dominated BLM. If you cross them, they call in federal law enforcement to shoot you dead, as seen most recently by the state-sanctioned murder of LaVoy Finicum. Same as with the murders at Ruby Ridge.

At best, the Nazi feds trump up bogus criminal charges and railroad you, as with the Hammonds in Harney County, OR.

Besides which, Clinton and Obama declared National Monuments by EO, without any input from Congress. Interior as a whole remains more the enemy of freedom than the Ag Dept, but the latter is catching up.

Reply to  Theo
August 14, 2018 10:03 pm

I doubt we will see that kind of behavior with Zinke at Interior or Sessions at DoJ.
That kind of behavior happens of course in Democratic Admins, like Clinton’s Janet Reno of RubyRidge and Waco infamy.

Theo
Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
August 14, 2018 10:06 pm

Joel,

I was concerned until Trump at long last pardoned the Hammonds, as he should have done on the first day of his administration.

You’re right, but after Trump, then what Dumpocrap Nazi will succeed him? The charming, adorable, winning young lady and socialist heroine from the Bronx?

Odds are good.

She’d be likely to follow the Clinton Administration paradigm and burn your babies alive, as under Janet Reno, who “took responsibility” for the Waco atrocity, but then did nothing, to include not resigning and killing herself, as would have been proper.

Reply to  Theo
August 14, 2018 10:22 pm

Considering the large Democrat field that is assembling to oppose Trump-Pence in 2020, the reasonable white guys in that Party of Identity Politics don’t stand a chance to get the nomination. Guys like Montana Gov Bullock or Col Governor Hickenlooper would probably beat Trump, but they’ll never get the nomination in a party of straight, white male haters. Someone like Cal Senator Kamala Harris is my bet, and she has only appeal on the Left and East Coasts.

Theo
Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
August 14, 2018 10:59 pm

Joel,

Hard to say which fruitcake PoC or septuagenarian white male will emerge victorious after the 2020 primaries, but IMO anyone capable of winning the Dumpocrap nomination won’t be able to beat Trump.

Two years is an eternity in politics. But the “Democrats” are likely only to become more socialist between now and early 2020. By a big margin, public opinion surveys show that todays’ Dumpocraps prefer socialism to capitalism by double digits.

Independents and Republicans, not so much.

Tweak
Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
August 15, 2018 12:18 am

Sessions? Mr. Asleep at the wheel?

John the Econ
August 14, 2018 9:42 pm

Acually, it’s their hate of capitalism that prevents forestry management. The idea that someone might make money harvesting trees is too much for them to take, so much so that they’d rather see the forests burn than see capitalism practiced for the greater good.

brians356
August 14, 2018 9:58 pm

Wait, what? How has climate changed in CA? I thought the likely scenario embraced by IPPC was like 2.0 C warming by the end of this century. But we’ve already had the warming? How did I miss that?

In addition, many recent fires in CA have been human-caused, either through carelessness (cluelessness) or outright arson. Ipso facto the only real human causation explained.

papertiger
Reply to  brians356
August 14, 2018 11:15 pm

What’s more? When every fire is presented as an evidence, in fact the only tangible evidence, that climate changers can point to, they will encourage every nutjob with a matchstick to make their fever dreamed prognostications come true.

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  papertiger
August 15, 2018 1:59 am

It has become fashionable to claim that global warming can happen in one place. That is the basis for claims that local heat records are evidence of global warming – but it isn’t really global if it’s local. Anyway…that’s how the Greens want to see it. Suppose we do the same?

Fire-bug forest fires are definitely a sign that Man’s activities has increased local temperatures – sometimes as much as 800-1000 degrees C.

If Green opposition to sensible forest management contributes to this 800 degree rise in the local temperature, they should pay for global warming offsets. That’s the way, right? If, by your actions, you create conditions that result in the destruction of property, which includes causing local global warming by 800 degrees, then you can expect to bear the consequences in law and liberty.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  brians356
August 15, 2018 8:19 am

“Wait, what? How has climate changed in CA? I thought the likely scenario embraced by IPPC was like 2.0 C warming by the end of this century. But we’ve already had the warming? How did I miss that?”

You have to be quick. California got all hot and bothered for a time while a high-pressure system sat on top of it, but then the CO2-caused (just kidding!) high-pressure system moved and it’s nice and pleasant in California now. Well, with the exception of the fires. So the CAGW has moved on and left the fires behind. It only hangs around for a few weeks most of the time unless you get very unlucky and have to sit under one for months at a time.

Anyway, CAGW has moved on from California and is out looking for more victims to plague.

And the alarmists have moved up the timetable. It’s not the end of the century we need to worry about, CAGW is here and now and causing havoc. Any extreme weather is CAGW happening now, according to alarmists.

Brad-DXT
August 14, 2018 10:04 pm

As someone that actually owns and has experience with wooded land, if the woods are not thinned out periodically, the trees will become unhealthy specimens of their species. The trees spend all their energy trying to grow taller to gather more sunshine. This results in slender trees that can be knocked over in a windstorm leaving fuel for a fire that the slender trees cannot withstand.
It took 20 years for me to do my first selective cut. I just thin out the woods to allow the young sprouts to have a chance at the sky, not a clear cut.

brians356
Reply to  Brad-DXT
August 14, 2018 10:47 pm

“… if the woods are not thinned out periodically, the trees will become unhealthy specimens of their species”

One exception – Lodgepole Pine? “Hair on a dog’s back” comes to mind. Ironically, Lodgepole in certain habitats thrives almost as a shrub, nearly unrecognizable as “lodgepole”.

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  brians356
August 15, 2018 2:04 am

It’s called tundra. As soon as it warms enough, the shrubs turn into large tree plantations without the planting part. That’s why the silly alarm over melting permafrost is so far beyond the pale. As soon as it melts, the thawed vegetation feeds the trees above. And in any case, how did the vegetation get there? Was it put there by an ancient civilisation? Or did it grow there all by itself the last time it was warm?

Maybe we had better stop the warming – I am not sure if there is enough CO2 available to feed another trillion lodge pole pines.

Loren Wilson
Reply to  brians356
August 15, 2018 9:22 am

Many of the great stands of lodgepole pine have been seriously damaged by the pine borer beatle. We had large swaths of them in the Uintas in Utah while I lived there. About 20% were dead standing, killed by the beatles. The forest service let us cut as many as we wanted for pioneering projects to reduce the fire load that could jump to the canopy. I don’t think the are has recovered yet (20+ years on). Lodgepoles also need fire to germinate the seeds in the cones, as do some other evergreen species.

brians356
Reply to  Loren Wilson
August 15, 2018 5:53 pm

” …killed by the beatles.”

So John, Paul, George, and Ringo killed the lodgepole?

LKMiller
Reply to  Brad-DXT
August 15, 2018 6:17 am

However, there is NOTHING wrong with clearcutting. Indeed, it is at worst genetically neutral. It is frequently one of the best choices for forest regeneration, especially from an economic point of view. Logging is expensive, and you have to be able to pay your way out of the woods. As well, many of the most important timber species are shade intolerant, so clearcutting provides the sunlight necessary for such valuable species.

I am a retired forester, and own a small woodlot. I have conducted logging operations on my woodlot, removing over mature trees that were of sawlog size, and favoring the longer lived, more valuable, and healthier trees. Clearcutting wasn’t appropriate for my woodlot, but often it isn’t for small woodlots that have been neglected. However, for large forests that cover millions of acres in the west, clearcutting is very appropriate.

Sadly, frivolous lawsuits, fueled by the forced payment by American taxpayers through EAJA, have essentially shut down logging on forests “managed” by the federal government. And, increasingly devastating wildland fires are the result. Oh yeah that, and the economic strangulation of the rural west.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  LKMiller
August 15, 2018 8:31 am

Trump needs to make Logging Great Again.

thingadonta
August 14, 2018 10:08 pm

People who have worked in land management agencies in government knows there is some truth in this.

I worked in forestry and national parks in government committees in Australia in the 1990s-2000s, when large areas of forest previously periodically logged and managed by the forestry service were transferred to national park estates, without thought for changes in fire risks or consequences. Since these areas were no longer going to have any vegetation reduction or be periodically logged, the fire risk greatly increased. No account was also made of areas transferred to conservation status in areas very close to townships. Subsequently, some towns suffered severe losses, partly due to the massive change in fire management of these areas once transferred to conservation status. Most prescribed burn zones now concentrate on areas close to towns for obvious reasons.

Newminster
Reply to  thingadonta
August 15, 2018 5:45 am

I recall a story a few years ago of a guy fined for not following local laws about brush clearance. At the end of the fire his was the only house in the area left standing.
Did anything come of that, law-speaking?

DaveW
Reply to  thingadonta
August 15, 2018 3:57 pm

In Queensland the practice seems to have been clear-fell, then declare an area a national park, and then ignore it. I suppose that may work okay for some of the open forest areas where regeneration isn’t very dense, but other areas are almost impenetrable with regrowth and weeds like lantana and look like disasters waiting to happen.

hunter
Reply to  DaveW
August 16, 2018 5:06 am

Lantana is an invasive non-native to Australia.
Eucalyptus is invasive non-native to California.
So-called “enciros” don’t seem to care.

toorightmate
August 14, 2018 10:39 pm

Forrest fires in California – it’s hard to think of a state more deserving of punishment for stupidity.

John F. Hultquist
August 14, 2018 10:40 pm

(Trees) … “ are burned to the ground

Most trees that get burned (some don’t die) remain standing with many branches. The branches are a hazard as are the trees. A tree that dies naturally may stand for many years (20, 25?). Such are also, more or less, spaced randomly in time and spatial extent.
When a forest is burned, trees can deteriorate and fall more quickly. Folks that must work near such trees encounter many close together and this complicates what they do, and makes any activity more dangerous.

I give Ryan Zinke the benefit of poor word choice. Most people would make the same mistake. It is similar to the often repeated remark about “chopping” down trees and sending them to DRAX power station.

Craig from Oz
August 14, 2018 11:29 pm

If they are so upset about the direction of leadership on fires then maybe California would like Christine ‘I had to eat’ Nixon to take a seat in the big chair.

Alan the Brit
August 15, 2018 12:04 am

I seem to recall the last major fire outbreak in Oz was as a result of failure to clear fire paths, a clear years of deadwood (fuel) lying on the ground, via Greenalist policies & resistance! For many years it was Forestry Commission policy in the UK to undertake such “duties” to protect our woodlands & forests from such devastating destruction!

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Alan the Brit
August 15, 2018 12:07 am

Shhhhhh! We don’t do that anymore in Aus.

RyanS
Reply to  Alan the Brit
August 15, 2018 1:30 am

No Alan. “the last major fire outbreak in Oz was as a result of” mid forty degree temperatures, low humidity and strong winds. Next time those conditions occur there will be major fire outbreaks. Blaming anyone is just political point scoring.

Alan the Brit
Reply to  RyanS
August 15, 2018 2:17 am

You are wrong, Ryan! What you have merely stated are the environmental conditions that can feed any fire outbreak that occurs! Blaming bad & poorly thought through policy decisions has always been the correct thing to do, especially when lives are put at risk, remember, Ryan, FIRE KILLS, as 35 years of structural engineering has taught many in my profession!!! It is also indiscriminate & doesn’t select its victims through any known thought process, therefore sensible forest management practises help nature & Humanity!!!

RyanS
Reply to  Alan the Brit
August 15, 2018 4:14 am

I don’t know if you have any experince of an Australian summer Alan, but I can tell you there are days when policy is not going to make the slightest difference…none. Forest management practice can help but sometimes nothing will save lives.

Davis
Reply to  RyanS
August 15, 2018 4:53 am

No fuel = No fire.

Alan the Brit
Reply to  RyanS
August 15, 2018 6:32 am

“but I can tell you there are days when policy is not going to make the slightest difference…none.”

I wouldn’t disagree with that statement, who would? One can never stop lives being lost under any circumstances with the best will in the World, we after all are only Human. Nor can we stop forest fires from occurring, but we can do the best we can by managing our environment as well as we can. However, as you well know, many plant species need fire to enable them to spread their seeds to other areas!

JohnB
Reply to  RyanS
August 16, 2018 2:24 am

Ryan, read the damn reports. Every major fire has an inquiry into it and they ALL, without exception blame poor practices. Get an education, rather than an opinion. Read the testimony.
http://royalcommission.vic.gov.au/Commission-Reports/Final-Report.html

MarkW
Reply to  RyanS
August 15, 2018 6:41 am

In your opinion, only the present matters when it comes to how bad a fire is?
The amount of fuel on the ground isn’t relevant?

And to think, you actually believe that you understand science.

August 15, 2018 12:52 am

“why do US greens seem to believe advocating forestry management is synonymous with opposing climate action?”
Who said that? There is nothing like that in your quotes. What they are saying is that the predominant cause of the fires was weather – heat and drought. And they think global warming contributed. I don’t see anyone there deprecating forestry management.

Reply to  Nick Stokes
August 15, 2018 3:21 am

Whatever my thoughts are on ‘climate change’, my wife expects the lawn to be mowed and trees trimmed.

Newminster
Reply to  Nick Stokes
August 15, 2018 6:06 am

Nick, there is only one non-human cause of fire and that is lightning. The idea that 40° or even 50° temperatures “cause” fires is nonsense. Whether it’s arson or a cigarette end or a spark from some piece of equipment or the magnifying effect on a shard of glass the initiator somewhere is related to human activity.
The seriousness or otherwise of the blaze may be temperature-related but only to the extent that a) there is fuel, b) that fuel is dry enough to combust.
The debate is over the swivel-eyed loon division of the eco-army’s insistence that forests should not be managed and that fallen trees, etc. should be left to provide habitat. Up to a point most of us would agree — I have a small area of my garden where I do just that — but not up to the point where it threatens life and limb.
Oddly enough my first responsibility is to my own species —just like every other being on the planet (eco-nuts excluded, of course).
(According to Pierre Gosselin at Notrickszone the incidence of wildfires is in decline. Sorry I can’t give you a link; the site appears to be having problems.)

drednicolson
Reply to  Newminster
August 15, 2018 7:40 pm

Apparently eucalyptus trees have been known to spontaneously combust in Australia.

philsalmon
Reply to  Nick Stokes
August 15, 2018 6:56 am

Nick
This issue is not about climate change at all. It’s about irrational eco extremists out of control, indirectly exacerbating forest fires.

Robert W Turner
Reply to  Nick Stokes
August 15, 2018 7:58 am

Do you have some sort of climate moron filter in front of your face that filters out all the insanity from the climate cult?

And who said that? That is what’s called an interpretation based on their actions. Some of us still believe that actions matter far more than words.

Reply to  Nick Stokes
August 15, 2018 8:06 am

Nick: Please search for “Giant Redwood Tree” and “Smoky Mountain Forest” for images. Compare the photos taken back in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s with those taken recently. notice that the present day photos have underbrush and heavy overgrowth. There is one taken in the Smoky Mountains over a hundred years ago with a Model T in it. The photo shows that there is enough room between all trees in the photo for the Model T to pass through between the trees easily. However the same area shown recently is covered with underbrush, fallen trees, overgrowth, excessive vines, etc. I person on foot would have trouble walking through these “Managed Forests” They are now a giant forest fire waiting to happen. There are areas of forest in the East and South East that are so overgrown by Kudzu that they are as hazardous as gasoline a storage area when dry. I spend days cleaning the one acer lot I have of the weed every year. Has taken me four years to get down to a one day job. NO ONE is cleaning the nearby forest or parks – in the name of environmentalism they leave it to nature.
Hundreds of years ago the occasional lightning strike caused a fire in the undergrowth and kept the area from having massive fires. Today the undergrowth load of dry fire material is so heavy the forest will be wiped out. Proof of this is in the before and after photos of recent fires.

JCalvertN(UK)
Reply to  Nick Stokes
August 15, 2018 1:28 pm

” . . . predominant cause of the fires was weather – heat and drought”. Not much of a drought. Remember the panic about Oroville Dam? Too much rain.
The big drought in California was broken only 18 months ago, in rather spectacular fashion. Excessively so for the residents of Oroville and other towns on the Feather River.
What has actually happened, (it seems to me) is that the rains of February 2017 generated a huge forest greening. But now, what where green shoots back then, are dry tinder now. I suggest that such fires are more likely to occur in the first serious dry spell after a wet spell.

hunter
Reply to  Nick Stokes
August 16, 2018 4:49 am

Nick, try reading before dismissing.

James A. Schrumpf
August 15, 2018 1:16 am

You notice that the people who claim climate change is to blame quote zero data to back up their claim? When the number of wildfires vs. acreage burned is examined, one sees that the number of fires per year is decreasing since 1985. However, the amount of acreage burned has increased dramatically.

The Wildfire Today website, from where I got these numbers, who got them from the National Interagency Fire Center, lists several reasons why the number of fires could be decreasing, while the acreage is increasing. Of course, the first is climate change: “Weather that is warmer and drier making fires more difficult to suppress.” But then they go on to list the more likely causes, given that they gave no data indicating that the weather has been warmer and drier over the past 30 years.

  • One hundred years of fire suppression has led to forests that are more dense and fires that burn with greater intensity.
  • A less aggressive strategy is being used on large fires more often for safety reasons.
  • More fires are allowed to burn naturally without full suppression for environmental concerns.
  • There may have been a change in the initial attack of new fires, responding with less equipment and personnel.

“Another factor to consider is that there was a gradual 30 to 70 percent reduction in the number of large air tankers on exclusive use contracts from 2002 until 2014 when the fleet began to be partially restored.”

Based on these numbers, and the comments from the site, it seems apparent that forest and wildfire management has far more to do with the acreage burned than does a 1-2 deg. increase in temperature.

RyanS
Reply to  James A. Schrumpf
August 15, 2018 1:32 am

You notice that the people like Eric who claim environmentalists are to blame quote zero data to back up their claim?

Cube
Reply to  RyanS
August 15, 2018 5:23 am

Hi Griff

MarkW
Reply to  Cube
August 15, 2018 6:44 am

While obstinant, Griff at least had a modicum of intelligence.

MarkW
Reply to  RyanS
August 15, 2018 6:43 am

You notice that to people like Ryan, facts are facts, only when they support his position.
And even an opinion can be a fact if it does.

hunter
Reply to  RyanS
August 16, 2018 4:46 am

If you can’t or refuse to read the data or science, bad on you.

Editor
Reply to  RyanS
August 16, 2018 3:41 pm

You are going to try telling the rest of us that Environmentalists never try to stop forest clean up projects, via lawsuit?

You are in delusion, since it has been occurring for a long time.

This from year 2002, SIXTEEN YEARS AGO is this post from the GUARDIAN

Bush vows to halt forest fires by cutting trees

“The president’s plan offers controlled burns and mechanical thinning to prevent fires raging out of control. Gale Norton, the interior secretary, said “Much of the west is a tinder box waiting for a spark”, and blamed “a century of well-intentioned but misguided management”.

Environmentalists favour letting nature take its course away from settled areas, and building firebreaks round communities.

The White House accuses objectors of worsening the problem. In an official briefing paper it said Oregon’s Squires Peak area, devastated by fire after a lighting strike last month, was identified as a high risk area in 1996.

Finally, “after six years of analysis and documentation, administrative appeals and two lawsuits, work was allowed to begin on [thinning] 430 acres of the original 24,000-acre project.”

The thinned area was unharmed, the White House said. “In unthinned areas, the fire killed most trees, sterilised soils and destroyed the habitat of threatened spotted owls.”

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2002/aug/23/usnews.worldsummit2002

======================

We have this from 2015

Anti-logging lawsuits hurt fight against forest fires, officials say

https://www.sacbee.com/news/state/california/fires/article21016266.html

======================

From 1999,

Endangered Property Rights

https://www.thenewamerican.com/tech/environment/item/16375-endangered-property-rights

======================

From NYT in 2012

Harvesting Trees Will Prevent Fires

https://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2012/07/11/does-the-government-cause-or-prevent-widlfires/harvesting-trees-will-prevent-fires

======================

Obstruction or obligation? The case for and against environmental litigation

https://helenair.com/news/local/obstruction-or-obligation-the-case-for-and-against-environmental-litigation/article_0dbe0e83-6ad3-580f-a916-f6f6d25d649c.html

on and on it goes…..

Tom Abbott
Reply to  James A. Schrumpf
August 15, 2018 8:44 am

Wind speed is the most important factor in the California fires. It can be hot as hades but if there isn’t any wind, the fire isn’t going to go very far.

MattS
August 15, 2018 2:05 am

This is a well known problem. Enviros stopped clearing the forest floor of debris, hence bigger and more fires.

At my place in France it is the law to clear the forest debris withing 50 meters of your house and access road, and to pay attention to bushes growing under pine trees. If the bushes are too tall, fire can get to the forest canopy. Kept low, the fire just runs along the ground.

Robert W Turner
Reply to  MattS
August 15, 2018 8:02 am

According to the state of California, France’s laws cause cancer.

nankerphelge
August 15, 2018 2:50 am

This is just so frustrating. California is one of the wildfire capitals of the world. Just as the State of Victoria in Australia is.
Our last horrible disaster was in 2009 and called “Black Saturday”. It was catastrophic and directly caused as a result of people not understanding nature.
Australia’s vegetation relies on moderate fires every 15 years or so. The seeds need the temperatures to propagate and maintain the canopy of grasses, heath, shrubs and then trees (typically). When you get idiots refusing to allow this to occur you get a whole lot of trees with a whole lot of fuel ready to burn at temperatures unheard of naturally. That is what happened on Black Saturday.
I expect I am right in assuming a similar scenario applies to California?
A quick corollary- A resident of one of the towns cleared his multi acre site of trees and was facing a fine of about $150,000 for his temerity. His was the only property to survive in his area.
Ah – they dropped the charges and whilst not funny is sad indeed.

Steve O
August 15, 2018 4:14 am

I wonder if the refusal to consider rational forest management policies has anything to do with the principle that we not consider any steps to ADJUST to a changing climate, but rather we focus all efforts on PREVENTION only. Because once you start to consider the option of adjusting instead of mitigating, the cost benefit analysis leads you inevitably to the conclusion that radical, expensive measures do not have benefits that are worth the costs. And that’s even if you believed everything the alarmists said!

And then there’s no way to justify new taxes or massive wealth transfers.

David Chappell
Reply to  Steve O
August 15, 2018 5:09 am

Ah yes, but new taxes and wealth transfer are the object of the green exercise.

Sara
August 15, 2018 4:32 am

There was a massive forest fire in Australia a couple of years ago that was finally put out. When it was over, wildflowers that had not been seen in literally years started to grow and blossom. That makes it as clear as glass that controlled fires clear out trash that prevents regrowth and restocking of biologics that will otherwise be crowded out.

I have two friends who are firefighters in California. They get livid when this subject of eco-hippies comes up, because the firefighters are the people whose lives are at most risk fighting these fires. They know how to prevent the fires but getting past the stupid ecohippies is the real problem.

Controlled burns not only encourage regrowth, but also return nutrients to the soil and open space for new plants to emerge. We have controlled burns around here every year, spring and fall. It’s partly to get rid of the invasive plants that don’t belong here, like buckthorn and purple loosestrife, but also to prevent even the remote possibility that a wildfire will start up.

These so-called environmentalists are among the MOST ignorant creatures on the planet. They don’t want to ‘save’ the planet. They want to destroy it, turn it into a desert. They are ignorant at an astonishing level.

Fortunately, there are more of us than there are of them.

Cube
Reply to  Sara
August 15, 2018 5:26 am

>>Fortunately, there are more of us than there are of them.<

I hope you are right. It doesn't feel that way in the NE US.

Davis
August 15, 2018 4:48 am

A forest has a lifespan, at the end it either burns down, or gets cut down, choose one. Choosing neither, is by NATURE, not an option.

drednicolson
Reply to  Davis
August 15, 2018 8:07 pm

Every once in a while, nature gets creative and blows one down with a volcano. Every once in a while, we get creative and flood one with a dam.

Cube
August 15, 2018 5:11 am

>>My question – why do US greens seem to believe advocating forestry management is synonymous with opposing climate action?<<

Liberals are religious zealots masquerading as thinking people. The cannot listen – literally cannot hear – opposing points of view. Their brains filter what they do not believe. We all do this, actually, and it takes a hard, willful action to overcome this unconscious bias and force yourself to look at unpleasant facts. Liberals cannot bring themselves to do this, they'd rather live in a comfortable bubble of "facts" that make them feel good.

A few years ago I attended a managment course at the Darden School of Business. One exercise we performed was to watch a video of playing cards being dealt quickly onto a table. We were to count the cards as they dropped. Unbeknownst to us, several of the cards had been altered to change the relationship between symbol and color, i.e. black hearts or red spades. Those cards were invisible: our brains skipped them and refused to see them because they did not fit our preconception of "playing cards". Only after the first couple did I see the game and count the altered cards too. Most of my fellow students never saw the trick until it was explained to them.

Facts that don't fit your world view are filtered and ignored unless you make a concerted effort to see them.

Those of us that make things all know the mental pain that comes from a design not working, a wiring job with a short, an engine rebuild where the rings don't seat, a board cut too short. People that don't make things try to avoid the anguish of a screw up, because fixing screw ups requires that you admit unpleasant facts. Its even harder to admid that you are the one who made the mistake.

A few years ago Mother Jones Magazine ran a piece on some research wherein the experimenter had "discovered a scientific way to identify conservatives." I can't find the article on-line to cite, if someone can find it and post the link its a great article. The author had devised a mechanism to see where people were focusing their attention by bouncing a laser off their eyes. He then showed his subjects a series of poster boards which held a montage of photographs: some happy (puppies and children playing) and some less so (piles of garbage and dog crap on the sidewalk). He interviewed his subjects to determine their political leanings. His conclusion: liberals were happy people who focused on happy things, while conservatives were grumpy people who allowed their attention to shift to unhappy things.

My interpretation of his results differs: I think liberals ignore the harsh realitites of life, while conservatives focus on life's problems in order to devise solutions to the world's ills.

fxk
August 15, 2018 6:32 am

Smokey the Bear was wrong. That’s why we don’t see him anymore.
I was surprised during a 2001 tour of Yellowstone when the guide stated that when a fire is spotted, a team is sent in immediately, not to fight the fire, but to determine its origins. Anything that is man caused is extinguished. Anything naturally caused i.e., lightning, is left to burn.
50 years of misdirected forest management has left Yellowstone full of burned stumps. But for the last couple decades, Yellowstone has been actively managing the forest using new (ancient) forest management practices – more, smaller fires either as a controlled burn, or letting nature do her thing. Today, new fires do not have all that fuel on the forest floor, and the fire burns cooler and lower, mostly staying out of the trees’ crowns. The trees live, the soil lives, wildlife lives, habitat remains, and the forest is healthier for it. Slowly, Yellowstone is recovering from all those Smokey the Bear years. The forest is returning to its natural balance of growth and fire, albeit slowly. Nature is unstoppable, but not incredibly fast.
The benefit of these natural burns include control of insects and a clearing of the much smaller levels of fallen fuel. Some species of trees actually require a fire cycle to release seeds for the next generation os seeds.

Cali is so whacked out… they reject forest management, and are paying the price. Continuing on the same trajectory of denial and avoiding their own role in these disasters will stop only when the entire state is in cinders.
One can educate the uneducated and uninformed, but there is no fix for idiots.
Stupidity is its own reward.

John Endicott
Reply to  fxk
August 15, 2018 8:48 am

Smokey Bear’s new motto (to judge by the greens beliefs) should be “only the Paris Climate Accord can stop forest fires”

drednicolson
Reply to  fxk
August 15, 2018 8:21 pm

Though to be fair, the Smokey PSAs IIRC focused on human sources of ignition. Smoldering cigarettes tossed out of car windows, untended campfires, playing with matches, those sorts of things.

They also replaced “forest fires” in the catchphrase with “wildfires” later on, as perhaps a subtle admission that not all forest fires are bad.

August 15, 2018 6:32 am

The green blob has too much invested in images of clear cuts and Bambi to consent to forest management. Add in an anti-capitalist theme, of voracious exploiters of Mother Nature, and they are stuck in their rhetoric.

eyesonu
August 15, 2018 7:07 am

Excellent essay by Eric Worrall. Short, sweet, simple and to the point. Both sides of issue presented.

Ryan Zinke offers a rational point of view. As usual the CAGW narrative is the only talking point offered by the brainwashed team of alarmists. I will now read through the comments and expect to see the “doomsday screamers” appear in force. Their numbers and shrill cries will be proportional to the impact Eric’s essay has on their failing narrative. Extreme flak occurs when you are over the target and truth bombs using reason and logic are causing an impact to an indefensible stand.

Flavio
August 15, 2018 7:12 am

I’d pay to watch the warmists attempt to convince the forestry professionals who deal with this on a daily basis.

https://youtu.be/3I3oewMq6B0

MarkW
Reply to  Flavio
August 15, 2018 7:53 am

Unfortunately they don’t have to convince the forestry professionals. All they need to do is convince the politicians who set the policies that the forestry professionals have to follow.

Peter
August 15, 2018 7:21 am

Seems like a few class action lawsuits from land owners and other stake holders aimed at those who prevent the forest management would be in order.

Dave in Maine
August 15, 2018 7:42 am

Here in Maine, the most heavily forested state in the U.S. we realize that only a young growing forest is a healthy forest. An old growth forest is a dying forest. Regular harvests keep out forests young and healthy. It drives my enviro friends nuts when I tell them, “The difference between a field of corn and a forest is frequency of harvest”, but it’s true. We don’t mind sharing our rural roads with logging trucks and we appreciate the jobs they provide. By the way, only young growing trees convert CO 2 to oxygen.

Alan the Brit
Reply to  Dave in Maine
August 15, 2018 8:01 am

In the UK, we have to remove around 7M tons of timber from our woods & forests each year just to keep them healthy!

LKMiller
Reply to  Dave in Maine
August 15, 2018 12:34 pm

Having received my forestry education at the University of Maine, permit me a few observations:

1) The forests of Maine, and essentially all of New England might as well be made of asbestos. They don’t burn easily, nor very often regardless of fuel loading. Why? When it thunders in Maine during the summer, significant rain follows. Not so much out west. As an example, I live in far northwest Montana and record precipitation daily. Since July 1, I’ve recorded 0.21″ of rain. And, we have a significant fire ~10 miles away.

2) The essential shut down of logging on millions of acres of western forests, “managed” by the federal government, coincides perfectly with the increase in both incidence and acres burned. When there was active logging on the National Forests, fires were fewer and smaller.

3) As long as a tree remains alive and respiring, it will convert CO2 and emit O2. However, vigorously growing young trees are much more efficient.

Robert W Turner
August 15, 2018 7:46 am

Few things in this world are as dangerous as mobs of zealots that just actual know they are right. (No, that’s not a typo)

Darrin
August 15, 2018 8:09 am

Proper forest management practices will not be practiced until we have a change in law on nuisance lawsuits. Under our current laws just a single person with deep pockets can tie up timber sales in court until the buyers give up. If a sale does happen they can stop the logging via injunction until the logger goes broke defending their right to log.

LKMiller
Reply to  Darrin
August 15, 2018 12:40 pm

The most egregious of these laws is the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA), passed in 1980, which forces the American taxpayer to fund these frivolous lawsuits. EAJA needs to be repealed.

DJ Meredith
August 15, 2018 8:13 am

Wildfires in the U.S. are easily prevented. Stop causing them. 84% of wildfires are directly caused by humans. If humans stopped CAUSING wildfires there would be fewer of them. (if I’ve got my math right)

LKMiller
Reply to  DJ Meredith
August 15, 2018 12:44 pm

While this is technically true, lightning busts are really much more important. These occur during the worst of each fire season, and can quickly overwhelm available resources. Nationally in the US, we’ve been in Planning Level 5 for at least a month now, which means there is a significant shortage of resources. As a result, fires must be prioritized and some go unmanned while others cannot be attacked aggressively. Understand that a major lightning bust can start 500+ fires in just a few hours.

CD in Wisconsin
August 15, 2018 9:15 am

Lost in all the talk and debate over who and what is to blame for the wildfires in California and Europe this summer is the Great Peshtigo Fire of October 1871 here in Wisconsin.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peshtigo_Fire.

Unsurprisingly, it was dry and windy conditions that fueled and fanned the flames of this great inferno. When it was all over, nearly 1.9 million square miles (1.2 million acres) were burned, including numerous entire communities. Somewhere between 1,200 and 2,500 people were killed (the exact number is unknown). And yes, there was a fire tornado in the inferno, like the one reported in California. A good chunk of northeastern Wisconsin went up in flames, although the map in the Wikipedia link above says the flames didn’t make it to Green Bay.

It is granted that the technology and means to fight forest fires that we have today did not exist in 1871. The concept of forest management perhaps did not exist either. But I can’t help but shake my head in despair when the climate alarmists blame climate change for the California fires when I look back at the Peshtigo Fire. So far as I know, the size and scope of the Peshtigo Fire has not been repeated, at least not here in the U.S. If I am wrong about that, anyone out there is free to point it out.

The Great Peshtigo Fire has been largely ignored and forgotten because the Great Chicago Fire happened at about the same time, so the Peshtigo Fire gets eclipsed by it in history. The cause is still a matter of debate, but some even blame meteors because the Chicago Fire happened at about the same time (although I find that very unlikely).

I sincerely hope Secretary Zinke and President Trump have the will and determination to start an effective forest management program in this country, so we can get a grip on the annual summer forest fire issue in the West. They need to stand up to the Greens and fight them as much as they have to so the program can get started…and the sooner the better. And find the damn arsonists responsible and lock them up!

CD in Wisconsin
Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
August 15, 2018 9:44 am

Can’t edit anymore. Allow me to reword one of my sentences above: I can’t help but shake my head in despair when reading about the Peshtigo fire after hearing today’s climate alarmists blame climate change for the fires in California and Europe.

Sweet Old Bob
Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
August 15, 2018 10:23 am

1.9 THOUSAND square miles ?

CD in Wisconsin
Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
August 15, 2018 10:38 am

@Sweet Old Bob:

Oops, you are right. 1,875 square miles according to Wikipedia.

National Weather Service write up on it also says 1.2 million acres burned:
https://www.weather.gov/grb/peshtigofire.

Thanks for pointing out the error.

LKMiller
Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
August 15, 2018 12:47 pm

What has become known as “The Big Burn,” in August of 1910, burned 3 million acres across NE Washington, northern Idaho, and western Montana. Do the math, there are 640 acres in a square mile.

CD in Wisconsin
Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
August 15, 2018 6:25 pm

LKMiller: You are correct, “The Big Burn” of 1910 burned much more acreage than the Peshtigo Fire. It was not as deadly though, with 85 victims.

August 15, 2018 9:52 am

Just got back from a trip. Met a guy who was an actual forester. He said the greenies’ opposition to logging was the reason the fires could not be controlled. I won’t give his name, might cost him his job.
Just think: Logging could provide fire breaks as well as removing some of the fuel for the fires.
what kind of nut could be against that?

Darrin
Reply to  jimB
August 15, 2018 9:59 am

It’s worse than that, green policy has had the forest service rip out logging roads because they are “bad”. Of course the real reason behind ripping them out is to limit public access to public forests. Of course that also limits access to fire fighters.

eyesonu
Reply to  Darrin
August 15, 2018 2:00 pm

I agree with you on limiting public access. Another reason is that by abandoning older roads as a matter of record in accounting it increases the opportunity to designate a region as roadless and subject to wilderness designation. I’ve fought that battle and lost.

hunter
Reply to  jimB
August 16, 2018 4:39 am

A typical green, not an extremist, is against rational enviro policy.
Just like a typical parasite, the typical green feeds off of others and produces nothing of their own but weaken the victim.
Extremist greens, like extremist parasites, leave toxins and poisons the host.

Robert of Texas
August 15, 2018 10:07 am

“No, Secretary Zinke. The record-breaking wildfires in California…destroying tens of thousands of lives, and take CONCRETE steps to avoid its worst consequences. — Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) August 13, 2018” (Emphasis added)

Hehe…concrete…adds CO2 to the atmosphere…what an ironic use of the word.

It really isn’t the cutting of select trees, if done carefully, that harms a forest. Its the building of logging roads that do the real damage. Figure out how to get significant wood out of the middle of a forest economically without building roads and you have solved a big problem.

I am an environmentalist…not the new crazed activist kind, but the traditional “raised by farmers and hunters” kind. I love pristine forests…I also realize that dry wood and people are a dangerous combination. Just like giving a gun to a person untrained in its use is a really bad idea, putting an untrained person into a dry forest overnight is a bad idea – they tend to start wild fires. Of course you also have the loon-heads who start fires on purpose. So managing a forest so that WHEN it burns, it is less hot and damaging, is a good idea.

eyesonu
Reply to  Robert of Texas
August 15, 2018 2:20 pm

What’s wrong with a logging road that is seeded after completion of activities?

What’s wrong with the diversity that the patchwork cutting provides?

Helicopter logging? What a bunch of enviro BS. I observed a helicopter extraction operation that had an old abandoned road going through it. I could have driven an automobile on it just by cutting the brush back a little further that the deer hunters didn’t deem as necessary to drag their deer out.

Real beauty is a fresh (2-8 year old) 30-50 acre clearcut every 1/2 mile in every direction when possible and an access road seeded for wildlife consumption. Do it for the wildlife.

D Cage
August 15, 2018 10:42 am

We should stop being emotive and have two test areas, one eco managed and one safety managed and see which works out best with careful monitoring to identify and deliberate arson to distort the test. It is time that just as the environmentalist use possible risk as reason for expensive law suits the victims do the same to the Eco lobby groups.
The probability that more than one in five of the lives lost were caused by the actions of the environmental lobby are put a 100% by one method used by risk evaluators. I wonder what the risk factor would be for the risk of CO2 induced climate change by a similar evaluation designed on the basis of demanding serious levels of proof.

LKMiller
Reply to  D Cage
August 15, 2018 12:49 pm

This test has already been done, and is ongoing. Just compare timberlands managed by private companies to those “managed” by the US federal government.

Edwin
August 15, 2018 11:25 am

It is interesting that the enviros, at least in what was posted here, didn’t argue Zinke’s points but just threw up the climate change mantra. I know of you got environmental land managers outside the federal government or western states that don’t believe the points Zinke made. And I know several in the federal government and in western states that believe their jobs would be at risk if they dare to objected to the orthodoxy as preached by the green socialists.

Back in the 1990s a group of technocrats out west inside US Forestry were using their “new” internet connections to organize opposition inside federal and state governments and certainly not for wiser management but strictly for the orthodoxy of the greens.

August 15, 2018 11:56 am

I’m inspired to leave all weeds in my next vegetable garden, and never prune suckers off tomato plants again. Let it grow, let EVERYTHING grow. Human management is eeeeeeeeeeeeeevil. Any management that benefits the QUALITY of vegetative growth is artificial and unnatural. I should eat the partially diseased tomatoes caused by not weeding, … eat around the worms eating my tomatoes — worms caused by not keeping a cleaner, weed-free garden. Yeah, I’m just gonna resign myself to eat the worms too — more protein that way. And think of the many other critters I can help nourish, besides my selfish self. Remember, anything focused on human development and human benefit is sinful, out of touch with the Earth, insensitive to NATURE. Oh, and I’m going to tear down chicken wire protecting my crops, since I have been starving birds, preventing them from exercising their natural instincts to eat tomatoes. And alllllllllllll the creatures of the Earth shall be allowed to feast on my bountiful, green-thumb endeavors. Ah men.

eyesonu
Reply to  Robert Kernodle
August 15, 2018 2:45 pm

If you do that you will have no tomatoes. Better keep doing what you have and enjoy the homegrown vine ripened tomatoes. A pellet gun or shotgun will help with the birds. There is only one species that hit my tomatoes. Usually only 6-8 birds needs elimination, especially if you get them before they nest. To make positive identification of the guilty species in your area just use one of the ‘pecked’ tomatoes and set on a wire basket and watch. The one that you whack while eating your tomato bait is most obviously guilty! Drop the hammer, sentence rendered. Use only white colored tape for tying them up. If you don’t like your neighbor, buy them a couple of rolls of red or orange survey tape for their garden. It’s worth the money!

Chino780
August 15, 2018 11:58 am

I see this repeated over and over again on Twitter and Youtube. They will not accept that there are a record number of dead trees (129 Million) just sitting there, drying out, and ready to catch fire. They insist the “heat” is causing the fires and it’s “irrelevant” that 90% of the fires were either arson or set due to carelessness by campers or someone else in some other way. They are convinced that it’s so hot that the forests are catching fire and that every fire anywhere on the planet is caused by CO2 spot heating that specific area. Talk about cognitive dissonance.

LKMiller
Reply to  Chino780
August 15, 2018 12:51 pm

Again, the stats on fire origin are misleading. It is technically true that the majority of wildland fires are started by humans, the situation only gets really bad when lightning busts, which can start hundreds of new fires in just a few hours, strike across the west.

Roger Knights
Reply to  Chino780
August 15, 2018 7:40 pm

It doesn’t matter if heat, allegedly caused by manmade climate change, is causing the fires. Nothing “concrete” WE (Californiaqns or Americans) do to reduce our CO2 emissions will reduce forest fires because emissions will be rising so dramatically in the developing world that the net effect will be more fires. The only “concrete” steps we can make to reduce fires is to practice active forest management, as the Interior Secretary proposes.

hunter
Reply to  Chino780
August 16, 2018 4:32 am

Reality is unwelcome to the “progressive”.
They know everything and have no interest in discussing. The “progressive” demands obediance and expressly rejects the tolerance they claimed to value when they were seeking power.

John F. Hultquist
August 15, 2018 2:27 pm

What was the CO2 concentration in 1825?
Miramichi fire – 1825

Or in 1910? Big Blowup – ID/MT/WA/B.C.

Or in 1950? Chinchaga

Ferntree
August 15, 2018 4:27 pm

I live by forest in Australia. Burning is the last thing we want on our 1.5ha. It dries the forest community out, meaning higher long term risk of fire. What id like to do is take out the tall canopy eucalypt, perfect for firewood and electricity poles, and encourage the rainforest under storey. Rainforest doesnt burn so readily. But Greens wont allow such reason, it goes against their fundamental ideology, despite the fact if man extinct here, in 200 years the forest would be rainforest, no doubt. Rednecks wont allow it either, they just want to burn it because they love it. Neither have the solution.

Barbara
August 15, 2018 5:38 pm

“Lives will be saved if US greens drop their senseless opposition to effective forestry management.”

Don’t be silly – the Greenies don’t care about anyone’s lives but their own, and they certainly don’t care about firefighters and people who have the unmitigated gall to build houses.

August 15, 2018 6:13 pm

I have recently moved back to our family farm, to take care of the property for my mother. The house has been empty for 2 years, and no one has been in a position to maintain the yard beyond grass cutting for many years. The yard includes two groves of trees, one quite large, plus other treed areas. This is our first summer here, and I have been working my way through one of the groves, cleaning up many years of dead and dying trees and debris. Time and again, I look around and think, “that’s a fire hazard, that’s a fire hazard, that’s also a fire hazard…” Meanwhile, the outer yard is in desperate need of a managed burn, which I hope to be able to get the permits for next spring. We had wildfires in the area this year, and a couple of farms were saved because they had done managed burns, just weeks before. Others were not so lucky, and homes were lost.

Our yard is a little microcosm demonstrating exactly how necessary managing forests is, just for basic fire safety. Our recent wildfires showed how managed burns can save the trees, as well as homes.

Why can’t “environmentalists” understand this?

drednicolson
Reply to  The Re-Farmer
August 15, 2018 8:43 pm

They can. They just don’t want to.

JohnB
August 15, 2018 7:53 pm

After every major fire we have either a Commission of Inquiry or a Royal Commission into the causes. They have, without exception, ruled that not thinning and not doing controlled burns turns a simple bushfire into a wildfire. The restrictions on controlled burns have always come from the “Green” camp.

The Secretary is correct, a buildup of fuel in the undergrowth causes wildfires, not climate change.

Eamon Butler
August 16, 2018 2:39 am

Reading the alarmists’ objections to sensible forestry management, sounds like they are the ones in (the nile) 😉

hunter
August 16, 2018 4:27 am

The greens are practicing what they preach:
destruction and waste.
And the greens get angry with anyone getting in the way of their destruction and waste.

Trenton Hansen
August 16, 2018 4:48 am

The Green reaction to Zinke’s statement is nothing but red herrings; they fail to answer why forestry management is not the answer, preferring instead to harp on about “climate change.” It seems to me that, whether caused by climate change or arson, responsible management will reduce the number of wildfires and their accompanying damage to the environment. But, in the end, the Green movement is, at its foundation, an anti-capitalist movement, and litigation in opposition to logging is an effective attack on the capitalist system.

August 16, 2018 5:13 am

Smoke from wildfires is making Calgary absolutely unlivable right now.

If this is forestry mismanagement caused by more green falsehoods, then they belong in jail.

It is definitely NOT due to “global warming”.

I think it is time for a whole lot of greens to chain themselves to trees in front of the fire, to protest against air pollution.

John Minich
August 16, 2018 6:47 pm

I am for environmentalism, but, for real environmentalism, not fake “environmentalism”. I recognize that there can be exceptions, but I consider loggers, farmers, and ranchers to be among the true environmentalists, in that their livelihoods in the long term, and to a degree in the short term, depend directly on doing their jobs right. For example, compared to farmers of field crops, how many “environmentalists” run the risk of loosing a whole year’s income for not doing a job right?

Deplorable J
August 16, 2018 10:30 pm

It’s not about climate change or saving the environment.

They want to prove a point and they want to win the argument and the war. At your expense.

That’s why they do this.

Jesse Fell
August 18, 2018 7:12 am

Environmental groups are not opposed to all forms of forestry management. In fact, they advocate it as prudent and environmentally friendly. They have opposed only attempts at harvesting forests for profit when this is disguised as forestry management.

Mismanagement of forests and undergrowth is a contributing cause of this year’s disastrous wildfire season in California. It does not follow, though, that man-made climate change is not also a contributing cause. What follows is that man made climate change makes us pay more dearly for out mistakes — such as the mismanagement of forests.

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