Two Views of the Tester Forest Jobs and Recreation Bill, a.k.a., “Wilderness Bill’

Prominent Montana economist discusses bill on Montana public radio-

Tester Forest Bill. Two Views of the Tester Forest Jobs and Recreation Bill. By Dr. Tom Power. Montana Public Radio.

I’m not sure what to think about the logging part of Tester’s bill either. If you look at it one way, it represents the worst top down mandated logging since the days of the “lawless logging” rider of 1995. On the other hand, wilderness supporters who support this “wilderness bill” might figure correctly that very little logging will really be done because the demand for logs, especially dead lodgepole pine is weak because of the economy.  Meanwhile the supply of these logs is overwhelmingly large, coming from the bark beetle-killed pine from the Yukon south to New Mexico. There are many billions of board feet of logs from better places than the remote Beaverhead National Forest.

Yellowstone hotspot’s giant magma plume slowly eats its way northeast

Scientists confirm 500-mile finger of molten rock under Yellowstone-

Park’s giant magma plume eating up mountains. By Cory Hatch. Jackson Hole Daily.

Actually the hot spot is probably stationary. The apparent surface movement is due to the North American plate drifting to the southwest over the spot. The new information (at least to me) that is interesting is that the top of the plume is deformed like the wind blows smoke from a fire. So while the internal origin of the actual hotspot may still be under what is now SE Oregon, the magma rises at an angle. It rises toward the northeast.

I was also interested to learn that the source of the hot spot is very deep in the Earth. It is at least 500 miles deep. It might go all the way to the core.

The fact that the plume rises at an angle might well explain geologically recent volcanic activity well to the southwest of Yellowstone Park, e.g., the Craters of the Moon lava flows and cinder cones and the lesser known Willow Creek cinder cones and lava flows to the north of Soda Springs, Idaho. It might take a long time for the continental plate to pass completely over the magma plume.

My photos of the Willow Creek Lava Field.