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Showing posts from October, 2016

Context for Forest Service Action

Image
This image provides wonderful context to assess the Forest Service's ill-conceived Upper Echo Lake Hazardous Fuels Reduction Project.

Notice how sparse the vegetation is at this elevation.  Certainly when one thinks about wildfire risk, this is not the image the mind conjures.

Relief at Upper Echo Lake Overshadowed by Prescribed Burns Elsewhere in the Region

On the heels of a settlement agreement that signals the end of the Forest Service's plans to cut, pile, and burn vegetation around Upper Echo Lake south of Lake Tahoe, there are grim reminders of continuing agency mismanagement of forestry resources in the vicinity.

First, prescribed burns in the El Dorado and Lake Tahoe National Forests contributed to poor air quality in the region, as reported here.  This led regulators to encourage Washoe County residents to stay indoors.

Second, according to reporter Jason Hidalgo, the Little Valley Fire, which has destroyed dozens of homes and other buildings in Washoe Valley, may have been caused by prescribed burns in the area.

Federal and state forestry agencies are staunch advocates for prescribed burns.  We wonder if there is empirical research to support their position.  At least one expert thinks otherwise as reported some time ago on the NEPA Lab blog.  Robert E. Keane in his book Wildland Fuel Fundamentals and Application (Springer 2…

Final Settlement Agreement Executed in Challenge to Upper Echo Lake Hazardous Fuels Reduction Project

The United States District Court for the Eastern District of California issued a stipulated order after the Forest Service and Dr. Dennis Murphy filed a settlement agreement with the Court.  This marks the culmination of a number of years of effort to halt a misguided project.  We are indebted to those who supported the effort to protect the Echo Lakes.