Author Topic: Wildfires Will Become Worse Thanks To Decades-Old Liberal Policies, Says Fire Expert Who Predicted U  (Read 585 times)

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Offline mystery-ak

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Chris White
Tech Reporter
September 13, 2020 8:23 PM ET


    Former President Bill Clinton’s land management rules and other liberal policies paved the way for future debilitating wildfires, fire expert Bob Zybach told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
    Zybach warned of potential disastrous wildfires shortly after Clinton signed a slate of rules in the mid-1990s that drastically reduced logging and road creation on federal lands.
    Zybach’s comments come as California, Oregon, and parts of Washington deal with catastrophic wildfires that have killed 26 people and destroyed buildings.

Former President Bill Clinton made a significant change to federal land management nearly 30 years ago that created the conditions necessary for massive wildfires to consume portions of the West Coast, according to one fire expert who predicted the problem years ago.

Shortly before leaving office in 2001, Clinton limited the ability of the United States Forest Service to thin out a dense thicket of foliage and downed trees on federal land to bring the West into a pristine state, Bob Zybach, an experienced forester with a PhD in environmental science, told the Daily Caller News Foundation. The former president’s decision created a ticking time bomb, Zybach argues.

“If you don’t start managing these forests, then they are going to start burning up. Thirty years later, they are still ignoring it,” said Zybach, who spent more than 20 years as a reforestation contractor. He was referring to warnings he made years ago, telling officials that warding off prescribed burns in Oregon and California creates kindling fuelling fires.

Such rules make it more difficult to deploy prescribed burns, which are controlled burns designed to cull all of the underbrush in forests to lessen the chance of massive fires, Zybach noted. Years of keeping these areas in their natural state result in dead trees and dried organic material settling on the forest floor, turning such material into matchsticks soaked in jet fuel during dry seasons, he said.

more
https://dailycaller.com/2020/09/13/california-oregon-wildfires-land-management-climate-change/?utm_source=piano&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=2360&pnespid=1fs1pOFFFlKNhq9_0.J2gOW80meqDNim4rAjAx3U
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Offline roamer_1

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He is absolutely right.

Offline Smokin Joe

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He is absolutely right.
Yep. What's more that same era of management contributed to rules which have hampered clearing such on private land as well.
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Offline mountaineer

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Mr. M and I have a friend who worked in forest management for 40 years, including Oregon. He's lectured all over the world on the subject.  Mr. M asked him to comment on this Portland Oregonian article: Oregon’s historic wildfires: unusual but not unprecedented, which states:
Quote
... Moreover, scientists have long pointed to the inverse relationship between fire frequency and severity on the west side – that is, fewer fires can mean more intense fires -- and they warn that fire is moving west to the overgrown forests and population centers of the Willamette Valley and southwest Oregon in an age of global warming.

That recognition, however, has spurred little movement beyond the established battle lines that have characterized forestry debate in Oregon for decades. The prospect of widespread forest treatments in the complex ecosystems of the west side – establishing fire breaks and using thinning and prescribed burns to reduce the fuels that choke forest floors – is environmentally unthinkable to some, and impractical to others.  ...

Alternatively, Oregon can turn to other, easier measures. It could adopt policies requiring more frequent pre-emptive blackouts by utilities so that downed power lines do not spark fires. Or the state could force updated building codes, regulations on defensible space near structures, and incorporate wildfire risk in land-use planning and zoning.

But those policies won’t stop big fires and are contentious, too.  ...

Meanwhile, Donato and other researchers suggest that treating big portions of the west side forests through thinning, prescribed burns and other fuel reduction efforts is an impractical, Sisyphean task.  ...

For conservationists, meanwhile, the prospect of meddling in the complex ecosystems of the west side forests is unthinkable.   ...
It's a lengthy article that seems to try to examine many varying viewpoints.

Here is our friend's reaction:
Quote
I agree with much of this news article.  Of course, the losses in structures and human lives are greater now than in the past—more building in and encroaching upon the forest and more people than in the past.  We have interrupted the natural fire cycles, for example 100-200 years in the west side Douglas-fir forests, allowing for unnatural accumulations of fuel. At the same time, we have largely abandoned active management of these forests and their fuel loads, at least on public lands which make up a large percentage of the Oregon forests.

 I’m not an advocate of man-caused global warming—we have been in a sustained period of cooling and not too many years ago the cry was that we were all going to freeze to death.  Of course, the climate changes over time.  Some will say that we are still in the final period of warming following the last ice ages, and there seems to be a 400 +/- cycle of warming and cooling in the long term climate trend.  The forests of the western U.S. are all fire-adapted and subject to fires, the difference being in the return frequency.  For example, as noted 100-200 years in west side Douglas-fir and 20-25 years or so in the Sierra Nevada mixed conifer forests.  May be much shorter in the Southern California chaparral.  With greater fuel loads resulting for the removal of natural fires, or man’s conscious manipulation of the fuel load, you can expect more destructive and larger fires, regardless of climate change.  And of course, add in the incidental or purposeful ignition of man- caused fires, and you have a prescription for disaster.

From experience,  I can tell you that once the fires go away, the attention will turn to other pressing issues, often social, and nothing will be done to solve the problem.  We all, especially politicians, respond to the immediate and rarely take the “long view.”  There is usually only a short period following any disaster to take significant action.  With the passing of time, the urgency goes away.

These are my thoughts from a forester with a Ph.D. In forest ecology and a minor in bioclimatology with years of experience in Oregon, Washington, and California.

Offline mrpotatohead

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Chris White
Tech Reporter
September 13, 2020 8:23 PM ET


    Former President Bill Clinton’s land management rules and other liberal policies paved the way for future debilitating wildfires, fire expert Bob Zybach told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
    Zybach warned of potential disastrous wildfires shortly after Clinton signed a slate of rules in the mid-1990s that drastically reduced logging and road creation on federal lands.
    Zybach’s comments come as California, Oregon, and parts of Washington deal with catastrophic wildfires that have killed 26 people and destroyed buildings.

Former President Bill Clinton made a significant change to federal land management nearly 30 years ago that created the conditions necessary for massive wildfires to consume portions of the West Coast, according to one fire expert who predicted the problem years ago.

Shortly before leaving office in 2001, Clinton limited the ability of the United States Forest Service to thin out a dense thicket of foliage and downed trees on federal land to bring the West into a pristine state, Bob Zybach, an experienced forester with a PhD in environmental science, told the Daily Caller News Foundation. The former president’s decision created a ticking time bomb, Zybach argues.

“If you don’t start managing these forests, then they are going to start burning up. Thirty years later, they are still ignoring it,” said Zybach, who spent more than 20 years as a reforestation contractor. He was referring to warnings he made years ago, telling officials that warding off prescribed burns in Oregon and California creates kindling fuelling fires.

Such rules make it more difficult to deploy prescribed burns, which are controlled burns designed to cull all of the underbrush in forests to lessen the chance of massive fires, Zybach noted. Years of keeping these areas in their natural state result in dead trees and dried organic material settling on the forest floor, turning such material into matchsticks soaked in jet fuel during dry seasons, he said.

more
https://dailycaller.com/2020/09/13/california-oregon-wildfires-land-management-climate-change/?utm_source=piano&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=2360&pnespid=1fs1pOFFFlKNhq9_0.J2gOW80meqDNim4rAjAx3U
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Offline skeeter

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Sounds like another EO opportunity. Too bad congress cannot be trusted to handle it the right way.

It'd probably be a good idea to better manage/restrict development of wilderness ares, as well.

Offline roamer_1

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Yep. What's more that same era of management contributed to rules which have hampered clearing such on private land as well.

That's right... Even without the regulations, JUST the absence of roads, road equipment, logging equipment, and the lack of a huge manpower reserve that the logging industry used to provide...

I doubt folks understand the power of that. There was a partnership between industry and government when it came to fires. When I worked logging and road crew, if there was a bad fire, you stopped what you were doing, and loaded the whole dang show up on lowboys and went firefighting.

Do you have ANY idea what 20 or so D6 and D8 cats can do when you need a miles long firebreak? It's a thing of beauty, man. And literally hundreds of guys used to mountains, used to ditch digging, used to chain saws, used to sawyering and bumping knots... The hot shots and fire planes were like the special ops guys in that fire game, but it was the logging industry that supplied the heavy equipment and the army needed to take and defend ground...

UNDERSTAND FOLKS: All of that is GONE. No more heavy equipment, no more army. Hell, no roads to get in there to it either. ALL GONE.

And the same goes for mills. Without that big industry, all the mills left. There used to be, I don't know, maybe 10 big mills here in the valley, and countless little jippo mills... Now there are none. In the midst of the biggest forest on the earth now, there are none. So IF private land is to be logged, those logs need to either be suitable for plywood (the only surviving plant),those logs have to be trucked a very long way, and need to be transferred too, from logging trucks to flatbed highway haulers. The cost of shipping pretty well means it is not viable. The cost of importing road crews and logging crews and higher cost to buy them (fewer makes high demand and raises prices) also makes it less viable.

And now you get to buy your lumber from Canada... While all that timber in the states goes up in smoke.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2020, 10:13:50 AM by roamer_1 »

Offline roamer_1

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Sounds like another EO opportunity. Too bad congress cannot be trusted to handle it the right way.

It'd probably be a good idea to better manage/restrict development of wilderness ares, as well.

Nope. EOs won't do. You need to attract moneybags and fat cats... They are the guys with the cash to lay out to put the mills back, to buy the heavy equipment and hire the people. All that depends on timber sales. Who in their right mind is going to invest in that game on the basis of a temporary order that will likely be gone in 4 to 8 years?

No. There has to be a long term sea change in how the government manages public lands. It has to be law.

Offline skeeter

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Nope. EOs won't do. You need to attract moneybags and fat cats... They are the guys with the cash to lay out to put the mills back, to buy the heavy equipment and hire the people. All that depends on timber sales. Who in their right mind is going to invest in that game on the basis of a temporary order that will likely be gone in 4 to 8 years?

No. There has to be a long term sea change in how the government manages public lands. It has to be law.

Wouldn't that start by an executive action undoing Clinton's policies, which the article says began the entire fiasco?

Offline roamer_1

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Wouldn't that start by an executive action undoing Clinton's policies, which the article says began the entire fiasco?

No. people are not going to invest millions and millions to invest in infrastructure and equipment they might have to shut off in 4 years or less... Another pipe dream promised by Tump that will never happen, btw... This is a commitment to many dacades and will require law.

Offline skeeter

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No. people are not going to invest millions and millions to invest in infrastructure and equipment they might have to shut off in 4 years or less... Another pipe dream promised by Tump that will never happen, btw... This is a commitment to many dacades and will require law.

I've hear nothing from Trump on this, so you can save it.

Offline roamer_1

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I've hear nothing from Trump on this, so you can save it.

Oh yes he did promise to open up the gated roads and renew the timber sales. Bupkis.

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How God must weep at humans' folly! Stand fast! God knows what he is doing!
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This is not Rocket Surgery. You start with Grassland, then is encroachment from shrubs, ferns, etc. This takes 50-80 years. Over the next 100-200 years, encroachment from your conifers (Softwood, cedar, pines, etc..) Over the next 200+ you get encroachment form you hardwoods, (oaks, hickory, elm, chestnut, etc....)
While this is going on the previous generation litters the floor of the forest. Some of it rots and adds nutrients to the soil for the succeeding generations. Finally there is a lightning strike which results in at least part of the hardwoods being wiped out. And the cycle starts over again. This is Ecology 101, at least it used to be part of 7th grade science class.
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Offline roamer_1

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This is not Rocket Surgery. You start with Grassland, then is encroachment from shrubs, ferns, etc. This takes 50-80 years. Over the next 100-200 years, encroachment from your conifers (Softwood, cedar, pines, etc..) Over the next 200+ you get encroachment form you hardwoods, (oaks, hickory, elm, chestnut, etc....)
While this is going on the previous generation litters the floor of the forest. Some of it rots and adds nutrients to the soil for the succeeding generations. Finally there is a lightning strike which results in at least part of the hardwoods being wiped out. And the cycle starts over again. This is Ecology 101, at least it used to be part of 7th grade science class.

Yes... In a hardwood forest. But the Rockies are the Boreal forest... Forever pines. Big pines full of flammable pitch... So your generations as you put them, are considerably shortened. All it takes is a half decent beetle kill, and poof! No eyebrows.  happy77

Offline Cyber Liberty

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This is not Rocket Surgery. You start with Grassland, then is encroachment from shrubs, ferns, etc. This takes 50-80 years. Over the next 100-200 years, encroachment from your conifers (Softwood, cedar, pines, etc..) Over the next 200+ you get encroachment form you hardwoods, (oaks, hickory, elm, chestnut, etc....)
While this is going on the previous generation litters the floor of the forest. Some of it rots and adds nutrients to the soil for the succeeding generations. Finally there is a lightning strike which results in at least part of the hardwoods being wiped out. And the cycle starts over again. This is Ecology 101, at least it used to be part of 7th grade science class.

The high-temperature fires we see now because of all the accumulated deadwood complicate the timeline, because it is hot enough to "sterilize" the soil.  It sets the cycle all the way back to virgin, and 80 years before the first trees.
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Yep. What's more that same era of management contributed to rules which have hampered clearing such on private land as well.
True. Decades ago I heard of homeowners going rogue and clearing their land anyway, even though it was not 'allowed'. Their home and their safety was more important to them than some stupid edict.

At that time there some extremist group, can't remember which one, that had as their motto, "Not One Tree!"
The idea being that there was never any reason on Earth to chop down any tree. These were the guys sabotaging forestry/logging equipment and screaming about the spotted owl. Even though they were clueless flaming idiots, apparently they won. Now we have overgrown forests laden with deadwood. That is just begging for a raging fire. And now we have it.
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Offline DB

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"Armed Oregon Woman Finds Arsonist On Her Property, Holds Him At Gunpoint Until Police Arrive — Media Still Blaming Climate Change"

https://www.secondamendmentdaily.com/2020/09/armed-oregon-woman-finds-arsonist-on-her-property-holds-him-at-gunpoint-until-police-arrive-media-still-blaming-climate-change/

Offline roamer_1

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"Armed Oregon Woman Finds Arsonist On Her Property, Holds Him At Gunpoint Until Police Arrive — Media Still Blaming Climate Change"[/size]

https://www.secondamendmentdaily.com/2020/09/armed-oregon-woman-finds-arsonist-on-her-property-holds-him-at-gunpoint-until-police-arrive-media-still-blaming-climate-change/

That gal is one to ride the river with.  :beer:

Offline IsailedawayfromFR

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And the smoke is making the Pacific Northwest the most dangerous place on the planet as far as air pollution, like sniffing a live volcano.

Watch as people suffer and die it will likely be filed as another Virus-related casualty.
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Offline roamer_1

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Ain't it amazing how the fires run up and down the US Pacific coast right up to the Canadian border... but none in Canada...

Ain't it amazing how most of the fires in MT and ID are right near big towns?

Jussayin

Offline DB

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« Last Edit: September 15, 2020, 11:13:49 PM by DB »

Offline Smokin Joe

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True. Decades ago I heard of homeowners going rogue and clearing their land anyway, even though it was not 'allowed'. Their home and their safety was more important to them than some stupid edict.

At that time there some extremist group, can't remember which one, that had as their motto, "Not One Tree!"
The idea being that there was never any reason on Earth to chop down any tree. These were the guys sabotaging forestry/logging equipment and screaming about the spotted owl. Even though they were clueless flaming idiots, apparently they won. Now we have overgrown forests laden with deadwood. That is just begging for a raging fire. And now we have it.
I know people who had to have nine permits to cut down a tree in their yard, planted by an ancestor before the civil war. There were two trees, eighteen permits total, red oak, and one butt log sold to Japanese for $3,000 to take back to Japan to make veneer. There are over 20 acres of trees like like those, intentionally planted, 170 year old red oak, but because of Federal and State regulations, these privately owned trees can only be scavenged for firewood, and then only for personal use by the owners.
How God must weep at humans' folly! Stand fast! God knows what he is doing!
Seventeen Techniques for Truth Suppression


There are no "Socialists", no "Progressives", only Communists, with every negative image that totalitarianism might muster, demanding fealty and conformity to their views, with a legacy of 150,000,000 dead and counting.

Offline goatprairie

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That gal is one to ride the river with.  :beer:
The only mistake she made was not shooting the b*stard.  A few of these idiots shot and killed and we'd see less fires.


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