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A Backpack to the Remote Lyell Fork of the Merced River

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A Backpack to the Remote Lyell Fork of the Merced River

Postby DoyleWDonehoo » Sat Sep 29, 2007 9:55 pm

A new story in Sierra-Trails is now available, "A Backpack to the Remote Lyell Fork of the Merced River ":
http://www.sierra-trails.com/lyellfork/cover1v9.htm
This area seems to be real popular around here this year. I expect more of us will be back next year. In any case, my story has over 70 pages with over 200 pictures for you to get lost in, great for when you are stuck somewhere and it ain't in the Sierra! Hope you have fun with this virtual trip.
Happy Trails to you!
Doyle W. Donehoo
Sierra Trails:
http://www.doylewdonehoo.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;



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Postby Cloudy » Wed Oct 03, 2007 2:56 pm

Nice job on the story, Doyle. A little long but still good. I especially like the "then and now" photos. I've been up in the Vogelsang area several times and have been over Isberg Pass but haven't wandered up that canyon. Looks like I'll have to some day :)

Alan
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Postby madeintahoe » Fri Oct 12, 2007 11:45 am

Doyle....I very much enjoyed your report....beautiful pictures and the meadows along the Lyell Fork are really beautiful. Looks like a really nice trip you had.
THank you for sharing it :)
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Dead Trees

Postby oldranger » Wed Nov 28, 2007 9:47 pm

Did almost the same trip in 74. Dead and dying trees--something new or just trees going through normal cycle. i was struck by all the dead trees in the Adams and Solomons photos but few in your "now" photos. Fires, insects, or disease do get all trees eventually.

mike
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Re: Dead Trees

Postby DoyleWDonehoo » Fri Dec 14, 2007 10:48 am

oldranger wrote:Did almost the same trip in 74. Dead and dying trees--something new or just trees going through normal cycle. i was struck by all the dead trees in the Adams and Solomons photos but few in your "now" photos. Fires, insects, or disease do get all trees eventually.


None of the Park Rangers or foresters believe the dead trees are normal but a result of the insect plague brought on by climate change. Cold weather and deep snows used to control the pests, but warmer and shorter than average winters has caused the outbreak. While there has always been snags caused by harsh winters and other causes, it has never happened on this scale. The dead trees seen in the Adams and Solomons look normal compared the the vast swaths of dead trees now seen in the Sierra, a drastic change seen in my time. Climate change is real, and so are the effects.
Doyle W. Donehoo
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http://www.doylewdonehoo.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Dead trees

Postby gdurkee » Sun Dec 16, 2007 2:22 pm

In '74, that was probably a continuing outbreak of the Lodgepole Needle miner. A moth that spends its larval stage inside the needles of Lodgepole pine, eating its way out 2 years later as a moth. There have been minor and major outbreaks over the last 100+ years. Not sure it's climate related but not impossible. After a large infestation kills off the trees (up to thousands of acres) it leaves behind a "ghost forest" of dead and standing lodgepole. Eventually, these fall over or get blown over in snow or wind storms, leaving 'jackstraw' downed trees.

In the 50s, there was some controversy when NPS sprayed the forest with Malathion. There was a subsequent die off of birds over the next couple of years.

g.
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74 trip

Postby oldranger » Sun Feb 03, 2008 12:43 pm

George,

As usual my mind and my fingers don't always do what I intend.

I did similar trip in 74.

(should have started a new paragraph)

my comment about the conditions was in reference to Doyles comments about his trip. I Don't recall anything unusual about dying trees in 74.
My point to Doyle was simply that tree mortality in large numbers may be due to changes in conditions and may be greater than in the past. But evidence shows that cycles of mortality are not new. Boring into the trunks of the dying trees would probably indicate life spans of a few hundred years or less (especially lodgepoles) so unless someone was to argue that these were the first trees then sometime in the past some trees had to die. It is my understanding that lodgpoles and hemlocks typically are subject to stand replacing events rather than scattered individual tree mortality. So if we look at the forest in terms of the lifespan of a forest rather than the 80 plus or minus we are allotted then relative large scale dieoffs should not be a surprise.

I don't know what to make about Doyles comment that the old photos don't indicate anything abnormal. Of course I agree because from my perspective dying trees are normal. But if he is suggesting a normal amount of mortality whereas what he experienced this summer was not I am not prepared to agree with him.

Anyhow this is kind of an academic exercise. I don't want this to be taken that i am poo-pooing the concept of global warming. I think the data is there to support that concept. I just don't know if global warming or other new environmental conditions are the cause or necessary conditions for the mortality that Doyle observed.

Good to see you online again. You allway give people good advice and good insight (as much as it hurts to admit).

mike
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