Blame Smokey

ScreenHunter_134 Jun. 14 08.46

Ponderosa pine forest naturally grows at a low tree density, and is dominated by mature trees.  Periodic ground fires clear out the ground litter and kill most of the small trees, which keeps the forest healthy.

ScreenHunter_131 Jun. 14 08.43

However, fire suppression policy over the last seventy years has changed the nature of the forest, which is now dominated by high density immature trees, which burn catastrophically as very hot crown fires.

Compare the density of the trees below, with the old growth forest above.

ScreenHunter_132 Jun. 14 08.45

Some people like building their house in dense forest, which inevitably causes their house to become atmospheric CO2.

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10 Responses to Blame Smokey

  1. ACR says:

    Is that a bear praying for a deer over Smokey’s shoulder?

  2. GoneWithTheWind says:

    I don’t think it is that simple. The forest management theory changes and each time it does the proponents of the new theory always “dis” the old theory and proclaim themselves to be the new high priests of the forest. Without man the forests start off so thick with trees that you couldn’t walk trhough them, then there are fires burning most of the trees and then there is new growth so thick you can’t walk through it etc. etc. Man harvests the trees and does indeed interrupt the natural boom/bust or grow/burn cycle of nature. So it is easy to say that no matter what man does it was/is inneffective and contributes to the problem. It is also easy to say that nature’s way sucks as well (at least as far as human and animals are concerned). So the new way of managing forests will be “proven wrong” and a neo-new way will be proclaimed from on high and the only thing certain is the new priests will declare us all to have been neanderthals and that they are enlightened and this will last until that theory is proven wrong.

  3. Stefan v says:

    Great post, and great point…thank you for reminding me of a similar phenomenon in Australia. We have eucalypts that NEED fire to propagate, and once had magnificent trees and regular small bushfires. With the green mania we now diligently put out every little blaze until an unstoppable inferno is inevitable. The animals were once able to run from the little fires, but not even man in his fossil powered vehicles can escape the modern mega fires. Of course, the blame is then laid at the feet of the carbondemon, particularly the melanin-deficient anglo/semitic monotheistic hetero centerfire repeating large-capacity noncollectivist racist carbondemon. The trees actually benefited from a periodic scorching pre-AGW enlightenment, but now perish, actually explode, in the intense heat of sustainable forestry management. Another downside is that good timber is near impossible to buy for less than both arms, legs and a couple of dangly bits; at least for us lazy unfoodstamped climasinners, and woe to you if you dare chop down a tree on “your” land. Better to just watch your house burnt to cinders, the treehuggers won’t be there to help you save it anyway. Might singe the dreadlocks and hemp clothing. Better to chop the trees down quietly and ship them to Japan as woodchips for newsprint, upon which one can read about what naughty consumers we are and need to become cavedwelling vegetarians prodding each other’s cornholes. Or, chipped-shipped to The Geographical Location Formerly Known As Britain to make up the shortfall in joules per coulomb that the lovely birdchopping propellers aren’t providing because the UKIP keep swinging off the rotors and grunting about playing cricket in the corner of some foreign beach. Meanwhile, Saviour Gore and his buddies eat prime beef off solid timber furniture and fly about in private jets between mansions and conferences, laughing themselves hoarse at our gullibility and their pawn’s imbecility. They aren’t stupid….they know eventually the joke will wear off, at which time they will freely admit it was a fib all along and that CO2 is just fine and dandy for the planet…and demonstrate this rehabilitated truth by sending anyone they dislike up a gulag chimney. At least there is one consolation….first up the pipe will be the former footsoldiers of Gaia. Suckers.

    • SMS says:

      Well said.

      I lived in Australia a few years ago when fires were killing people in Marysville. One of the only structures to survive that fire was an owned by an individual who cut down the trees around his house. He was fined $150,000 for this act by the local council and then spent another $150,000 defending himself in court for cutting down trees on his own property; and lost.

      The environmentalists have taken over the care of the forests based on their very flawed views. Better to have them cut down. Even the Aboriginals regularly burned the forests. They knew what it took to keep the forests healthy.

      • Olaf Koenders says:

        Actually, Abo’s simply started fires to get the food running out the other side to be caught by the rest of the waiting clan and scrape up freely cooked whatever didn’t make it. There’s no evidence regarding the “anti-racist” idea started by greenies that they “knew” exactly what our bushland needed.

      • Olaf Koenders says:

        Further, Abo’s are the LEAST evolved peoples on the planet. They missed using gold for adornment, the bronze and iron ages. They didn’t build anything out of stone – not even a single dolmen. They knew nothing of horticulture or forestry. They’ve been in this country for tens of millennia and didn’t achieve a damn thing – except to eat all the larger now extinct species of wombat and kangaroo.

        How the hell could anyone think they instictively, let alone experimentally, “knew” how to maintain healthy bushland after all they didn’t achieve? Get a grip dude!

        But I’m with you on everything else you said, which was well done by the way 🙂

  4. Pathway says:

    It really is that simple. Native people on every continent set fire on a regular basis to create an early stage seral landscape. This enabled the increase in undulates that the natives wanted for food.

    White people, thinking they can control nature set out to stop fire and make the forest nice and green. Smokey Bear is the most destructive as campaign ever designed.

  5. NoMoreGore says:

    Some years ago, I think USA Today ran a story about a great western US fire believed to have taken out forests in several states. As I recall, the speculation was that marked the beginning of growth for the oldest of old growth. I can’t find the story, and I’m going on memory, but this fire was supposedly 1400 years ago.

    I have little knowledge about this issue, but I know that here in the NW, I will occasionally see giant trees which appear to be much older than anything around them. Roughly 12 or more feet in diameter. Really amazing specimens.

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