Deliberately introduced African grass becomes the cheatgrass of Sonoran Desert

While cheatgrass arrived in the West as an accident, African Buffelgrass was deliberately planted. It has changed the fire ecology of the Sonorian desert and has even become a severe fire threat inside cities such as Tuscon, AZ.

“Buffelgrass is like taking a kiddie pool, filling it with gas, and putting it in your front yard,” [said Kevin Kincaid, a fire inspector for Rural/Metro, a private emergency services provider]. “These fires can go from four-foot flames to 30-foot flames in 20 seconds.”

Story in the High Country News. By Michelle Nijhuis

Posted in invasive species, wildfire. Comments Off on Deliberately introduced African grass becomes the cheatgrass of Sonoran Desert

Unchanged (for the Worse) since 1872

The General Mining Law of 1872 is among the last statutory survivors of the boisterous era of westward expansion. Essentially unchanged since Ulysses S. Grant signed it into law, it sets the basic rules for mining hard-rock minerals like gold, copper and uranium on public lands.

Read the rest of the NYT editorial urging reform to bring hard rock mining laws from the 19th to the 21st century. New York Times. Editorial.

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