Rocky Barker’s blog today fleshes out what a lot of people are talking about right now in Idaho, Nevada, Montana, and Utah — the coming forest fire season.
The winter had below normal precipitation and the spring was generally dry. Dry springs actually reduce the range fire potential because the flammable seasonal grasses don’t grow as tall, but the the heavy fuels — logs and standing trees, will be very flammable beginning in mid-June. Couple this with the many insect attacks on the forests, and things could explode.
Barker wrote an excellent book on forest fires and their role in the development of the public land agencies and their philosophies. I used it in my public lands politics class one semester. A review of his book and similar ones appeared in the Washington Post.
International Business Times. By Matthew Brown.
The idea is that Congress would provide most of the initial money and create a quasi-governmental fund, to which states, individuals, non-profit and for profit corporations, could add. The fund would take the burden off of state departments of fish and game, and reduce resentment by some hunters for the diversion of funds for these animals. It would also shield the management from the political instability of direct congressional appropriations and keep a national presence in the management of these animals despite their delisting.
On the down side, I can see a lot of money going for “management” that simply leads to dead wolves and bears, and is yet another subsidy for the public lands livestock industry. Most of the current management money for wolves simply goes to collar wolves so that they can be easily shot if a couple of dead sheep or cow calves turn up.
The slower their reproductive cycle, the higher the risk of extinction for large grazing animals such as deer and antelope that are hunted by humans.
Story in Science Daily.