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View Diary: The High Park Fire in Colorado, Global Warming at work. (27 comments)

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  •  I think you overstate pollwatcher's views (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pollwatcher, RunawayRose

    and by contrast, your own virtuousness as compared to him.

    A bit tacky, I think.

    •  Tacky yeah, virtuous, probably not, but (0+ / 0-)

      consider that in the 1970s the USFS already knew this was going to be a problem, they implemented a plan that probably would have worked, they could have implemented more ambitious plans (for example creating more of a mixed forest) that would have nearly fire-proofed the forest, but citizen complaints (not science) put an end to all that.

      At least 5 years ago the beetle infestation was known to be a problem, yet today, there are still 2 million acres of standing dead trees in CO alone (and this is a problem throughout the western US and BC). Apparently nobody could have predicted the outcome of 2 million acres of dead trees, drought and maybe one bolt of lightning or tossed cigarette. If so, that would be because of the altitude or thin air in CO.

      Maybe the beetles would have only killed 25% of the trees instead without warmer winters - that's enough to create conditions favorable to a fire that would kill the remaining 75% (lodgepole aren't fire tolerant) - cf Yellowstone fire, 1988, which wasn't put down to either beetles or climate, but is the same situation. Eventually, the beetles would have reached the same point as now - it just might have taken a few more years. That's what happens in dense lodgepole forests, and foresters know that.

      But to come along 40 years later, when this endpoint was completely predictable and avoidable, even as recently as last year when trees could have been cut, and now blame it all on climate change is negligent and stupid on the part of responsible people who knew better and did nothing.

      I'll take tacky over that any day of the week.

      It's never too late to have a happy childhood - Tom Robbins

      by badger on Sun Jun 10, 2012 at 05:36:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Your longer post is more to the point... (0+ / 0-)

        and probably accurate.  Living in CO for the first time in 35 years, the beetle damage is way beyond anything I saw back in the 60s or 70s .... and you are right about the impact of leaving a bunch of dead or dying trees standing.  We are in the midst of one more of what will be quite a few bad fires this year -- a combo of dead trees and a very dry year.

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