The politics of forest fires | High Sierra Topix  

The politics of forest fires

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Postby AldeFarte » Thu Jul 19, 2007 11:22 pm

Right on Dave! Just the facts, please and thank you. To get the beautiful pines to regenerate sans fire, the best thing one can do is to take a bulldozer to a property to expose the the mineral soil. And bust down the canopy. Then sprinkle in some pines on the way out. Works every time it's tried. Of course it is a little ugly for a few years. jls

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Postby mikehike » Fri Jul 20, 2007 2:48 am

As elevation increases in the Sierra Nevada the longer the historic mean fire return interval. The return interval across the entire region varies greatly from one location to another, so as a general rule, fire frequency decreased with elevation, but do not assume this holds true across the entire Sierra as a hard and fast rule. As fire frequency decreases the less fire adapted species increase. And when a fire does occur at the higher elevation stands the fire tends to be a higher intensity with high mortality.

White and red fir are native to the Sierra, but historically was in lesser numbers than commonly found now. Pine was dominant with true fir as a small minority. True fir is relatively shade tolerant and pines are shade intolerant. This is why as you look at typical Sierra west side forests today you see fir understory with a pine overstory. Pine does not regenerate well in the shade, and fir does quite well.


Great stuff, helps me realize my memory is actually semi-intact. The shade tolerant firs makes sence, just from my late night "5 glasses of merlot" walks in my backyard looking at the tree's and drawing conclusions on evolution is the highlite of my saturday night..shows you how boring my life is. Back to the firs, they have such a quantity of branches and an abundance of leaves giving them maximum "solar panels" which is exactly what a shade tolerant tree would need to survive a pine overstory. Anyways science is work in progress, no one ever has all the answers but it makes for interesting discussion...

I hope the TRPA and forest service are as passionate about the Sierra Neavde coniferous forest as we are in this thread.

Hey Duane,

Don't forget the Big rainBird Impact heads to water those tree's and grasses
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Postby dave54 » Fri Jul 20, 2007 8:25 pm

"...I hope the TRPA and forest service are as passionate about the Sierra Neavde coniferous forest as we are in this thread..."

The FS is as concerned as the regulars here. Unfortunately, their hands are tied. The public lands are no longer managed by natural resource professionals, they are managed by judges and lobbyists and environmental industry lawyers. Sound science and managing the resources for the future takes a back seat to slick PR campaigns and 30 second sound bites.
Log off and get outdoors!
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Postby hikerduane » Sun Jul 22, 2007 12:50 pm

Hey Dave, our tax dollars at work. Too bad the money spent fighting lawsuits couldn't go towards maintaining trails. You sound like one of the fire crew bosses down here I know and spoke to about lawsuits holding up work around Meadow Valley which has since been started and finished now I think.
Piece of cake.
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