If you have an interest in nature and trees, I urge you to visit the adjoining Parks of Kings Canyon and Sequoia in central California. I recently visited there, what an experience it was to see the groves of Giant Sequoias and learn about their relationship to fire.
Giant sequoias are the largest trees in the world; the General Sherman [1,700 yrs. old] is the largest. it is 36’ across at the base and 280’ tall. General Grant is over 40’ at the base, but a shorter height relegates it to the world’s third largest tree. All the large Sequoias have fire scars; some so severe one marvels that they can survive. But survive they do, and can live to 3,000 years old or more. Cindy and I toured interpretive sites in both parks, spent time with park rangers, and observed prescribed fires that are now standard practice to maintain a healthy ecosystem. What we learned vindicates my assertions about fires in the west… And leaves my ill-informed critics, particularly Mr. Panko, with egg on their face.
Pre-settlement, frequent fires were a natural part of the ecosystem. Fuel loads were reduced, thus reducing severity. Giant sequoias have seeds the size of an oatmeal flake. To sprout, seeds need contact with soil, thus the need for fire to knock back brush and consume the layer of pine needles on the forest floor. Post settlement, fire suppression interrupted the process. Suppression in the parks continued for years, but in the 1920s it was discovered that very few Sequoia seedlings existed. It was discovered that fire was needed to create conditions that allowed sequoia seeds to sprout.
Fire suppression also creates other problems. Without fire or harvest, some tree species, mainly pines, become overcrowded. When a natural dry weather pattern develops, these trees are weakened, making them susceptible to attack by pine bark beetles. Half the land in many western states is under federal control, with bureaucrats sitting at a desk thousands of miles away making critical decisions about access roads, fire suppression, and tree harvest. Add to this the rapid expansion of urban development into areas where natural fires could once burn frequently with little harm, and fires become catastrophic.
People who exacerbate these problems do not wish to admit to the decision making that created the situation, so they resort to the tactic of blaming “climate change.” With a compliant media and government swamp dwellers along with the elitist leftist/intellectual crowd, many people are hoodwinked. Don’t buy the B.S. Western wild fires are largely caused by poor environmental decisions that place unreasonable limits on access, tree harvest, and grazing on western federal land, ignoring the advice of experienced land managers and biologists.
A quick word on the Democrat debates; The latest far left wish list:
•Reparations to descendants of slaves.
•Free medical for illegals
•Reparations for same sex couples
•Legalized recreational pot
•Tearing up the Bill of Rights
•Government funded abortions, infanticide of live babies at the mother’s discretion.
•Taxpayers pay off student loans
•Abolition of the Electoral College
If you support these things, don’t read my submissions. They will just ruin your day.
Lastly, a shout out to Professor Kim Stelson for proving my point about the arrogance of Intellectual Elitists. Thanks Professor, you no doubt have expertise in some things but debate is not one of them. You stated everything I wrote was false, then went on to prove the 1922 Post article was real. You did nothing to refute my claims of a warm climate on earth followed by the mini ice age from roughly the 13th to the 16th century that caused terrible famines. You cannot because the mini ice age did occur, as you well know. So what is left of your attack? A tantrum because Mr. Trump won despite the media, the Washington Swamp, Democratic Dirty Tricks, and intellectual Elitist snobs all being against him. But thanks for writing, your note shows everyone the thought police are alive and well, ready to attack anyone who fails to embrace the far left agenda.
God Bless Dear Readers, Jeff