Nicole Alderman wrote:The smoke from the fires in BC has come down to us. Air quality is at 155. My neighbors are in an RV as their house is being built, and their daughter is really struggling to breath. I can't find anything about clean air shelters.
I think that those people are right, but it's not just Forestry that we think of one-dimensionally, as in a clear-cut. It's all the compounding factors that I outlined above in this thread, including 80 or more years of fire suppression, the elimination of large deciduous stands for farming or for conifers, and the focus on only conifers in all reforestation efforts(where deciduous species are brushed down and never planted--this super compounds the reduction in biodiversity), the non-utilization of pine for lumber until relatively recently, the planting of mono-crop forests in large blocks, the virtual elimination of beavers (which is compounded by the need to trap them to keep roads and fences intact, and by the reduction of their deciduous habitat), the loss of biomass/carbon from logging, the slash burning of 'waste' wood, and roads which become a source of erosive runoff. And then there are the symptoms of the clearcuts including things like increased wind speed, lack of water infiltration, lack of water retention, lack of transpiration/reduced rainfall, increased evaporation, faster runoff, increased soil erosion, and the siltation of the salmon spawning redds... it just goes on and on. I'm really tired of the one-dimensionality of the climate change debate focusing only on the burning of fossil fuels; all of these factors just listed are huge contributing and compounding factors that are missed in that discussion. The debate should include these things and things such as the Mountain Pine Beetle epidemic outbreak that has increased an already massive fuel load geometrically towards this fire situation; it was caused by the combination of fire suppression and warmer winters and the lack of pine utilization. People in that debate do not see that anthropogenic climate change is made up of hundreds if not thousands of factors that are inherent in bad management practices in a lot of different human choices, including, the clearing of land for ranching and farming, the tillage of soils breaking up fungal networks and releasing carbon, and large-scale mono-crop agriculture reducing biodiversity and exacerbating the situation in many ways. Bad manage is the problem. Permaculture, or wise Earth-stewardship design choices, is really the only answer. All of these factors are preventable and the solutions are painfully obvious if only we (culturally) had the eyes to see it.
People keep blaming forest management.
Hi Ben. That huge ancient redwood forest rain was also providing rainfall beyond the forested areas into the interior of the continent including non-forested areas, such as the prairies which are now farmlands which are irrigated like mad. Your point is not lost. The volume of transpired moisture that has been lost due to anthropocentric forest loss is incredibly large. Thanks for making note of it and giving some stats.
that was 10billion gallons of water transpired per day, carried inland usually and deposited over forest areas that are now burning like mad.
The forest is WAY bigger than I think that you are imagining, Len. This season will put a small dent in it. It will take a decade or more of this increasing ridiculousness before we see a significant reduction in the fuel load, and some years in there we might not see such high fire activity as these last two. It will be a long time before there won't be anything left to burn, and Jay is right, that without better management choices, it likely won't matter much: The burned areas will almost exclusively be left to 'naturally' regenerate as almost exclusive mono-crop pine forests which will grow in single aged stands with increasingly dead lower branches/ladder fuel as the canopy closes, which then promotes more of the same: candling trees, crown fires, fire wind generation, a rain of embers, and firestorms...
At this point I almost feel: "let it burn" at least that way there won't be anything left to burn next year...
Me too. I'm pretty tolerant of smoke, generally. I've been a forest fire fighter (the last time was in 2003 at the big fire near Barrier, B.C.). Being in the fallout zone is actually worse on the lungs, I swear, then battling the flames head-on.
I'm usually fairly tolerant of natural smoke, so if I'm noticing it, I feel bad for those more sensitive.
Roberto pokachinni wrote:The forest is WAY bigger than I think that you are imagining, Len. This season will put a small dent in it.
At this point I almost feel: "let it burn" at least that way there won't be anything left to burn next year...
Me too, Len. I want to see the mountains that I bought land within. I want to climb to peaks and see the massive view, and breath clean mountain air, and exercise to my fullest potential. Last year I didn't get into the alpine once.
At this point, to be honest, I just want my eyes to stop itching and my throat to stop tickling. I want the light outside to be normal and not alien.
Sorry. I think you did actually indicate. I was pretty sure you said 'almost' to indicate that you were sort of playing with the concept, instead of saying that you wanted it outright. I should have indicated my thinking on your not being fully serious when I posted that. Apologies.
I think I should have put a smile or some indication I was not fully serious about that.
Great to hear Len. I hear the forecast here is for the smoke to clear for the weekend and that rain is coming too!!
Hmm, the wind has turned, the alien sun has gone... blue sky! Hope the fires go out soon too. Rain this weekend may help.
Sounds like you could get yourself into trouble, there, Pearl. Tread carefully introducing rapidly reproducing rodents. I'm not really recommending beavers as livestock, but it is possible to raise them. I highly recommend Grey Owl's books. He was one of the few trappers who turned his ways around through the passion of his wife, started raising beavers and reintroducing them. Also, the book, Three Against the Wilderness, where a family was concerned about forest fires and started building dams, and a warden or the head of a park or something ended up bringing them some beavers to help maintain the system. Both of these happened quite a while back. I don't know the legalities of getting beavers or keeping them, or anything, so that might be a hurdle for you to jump. Apart from that, I imagine, but I can not confirm, that all poplars will serve well as beaver food, though I know that Cottonwood is not nearly as preferred as Trembling Aspen(which i call poplar). I don't know if they like yellow poplar. Around here, I know that they also enjoy willow, alder, birch, and wild cherry, but Trembling Aspen is their preferred food and building material. They like to chew the bark of fruit trees so if you have these you will want to cage the trunks in wire fencing to protect them.
I was looking up beavers, they are considered a nuisance animal here, which to me means I can move some in!
Nicole Alderman wrote:I wonder if I could use some of the word out, thread-bare cloth diapers...
Jay Angler wrote:I've been reading a Bill Mollison article and found this quote:
"Effects on Snow and Meltwater
More evidence, if only we could convince people, that a properly managed forest is part of the solution!
Yes. The paradigm is going to be hard to shift. The local mentality to clearcut Old Growth and Ancient Rainforest and then replant with fast growing stands of spruce is indicative of this mentality. We need the entire industry and the governing bodies to understand that selective harvesting, value-added products, and the management toward biomass retention and mycological integrity as well as diversity are in the economic interests of the province.
The real job is convincing the people doing the damage that it will put money in their hands to not do that damage. Very few people think in terms as long as even five years (mostly two) yet many of these things are hundred(s) year problems.
This is a big part of the problem. Also: The Forestry Funding at the universities is funded by the Forest Industries. Problem is also that most of the research is done, the verdict is in, (traditional rather than conventional, practices need to be initiated, and diversity and biomass must be integrated) and still, they push to fund research towards data that will perpetuate the status quo of fast rotation, rapid growth, low-quality wood. The averages of growth rings in a stick of 2X4'' lumber a hundred years ago were probably a minimum ten times that of most of them today. Nowadays, after cutting in the second or third growth forests, they have to band the lumber with steel so they don't warp like a hockey stick or bend fully in banana shapes. Warping is common in a lot of lumber, but now it is so common that banding is necessary for much of it if it is second growth.
research is expensive, so only people with money do research, people with money still want their money's worth and so tell the research what they should find before hand.
Indeed. The problem is actually as ancient as the culture of 'developing' land and 'improving' land towards human needs. This has most often resulted in forest loss, soil loss, biodiversity loss, increased wind speed, and decreased water holding capacity--all of which contribute to the fires we see today.
Very few people think in terms as long as even five years (mostly two) yet many of these things are hundred(s) year problems.
While I agree that we do need to focus on our own little project, our own region, and the needs of our locality, and do these small things as right as we can, there is still much that we are capable of if we organize right and implement properly to affect the larger scale. Permaculture is part of this cutting-edge, this zeitgeist of new thought and action. Like the Margaret Mead quote in my signature, I think it's important to remember the lesson I learned from the mosquito in my tent: "If you think you are too small to make a difference, then why kill that one mosquito before you try to sleep?" Sometimes we feel small and insignificant on a global scale, but I try to get out of this mindset. Even though I believe in the "Think Global and Act Local" mantra, I also feel that we need to start to Think and Act Globally. Never doubt your potential significance or the significance of the many small decisions you make day to day. Every act, every choice, every time we reach out to provide the better information or 'do the right thing', we change the future of this entire planet through the minds and aspects of the world that we affect.
In the end it seems we can only manage the land we are on the best we can. We can be involved in the community in public land clean up and reclamation. We can choose to buy land that will have more effect on the local environment. I have a city plot where it seems the best I can do is to keep the weed man away and provide flowers for the bees.