GarryRogers Biosphere News
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GarryRogers Biosphere News
Nature Conservation News and information for animals, plants, and nature.  See more at http://garryrogers.com.
Curated by Garry Rogers
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Soda Fire Recovery Not Going as Well as Portrayed in the Media

Soda Fire Recovery Not Going as Well as Portrayed in the Media | GarryRogers Biosphere News | Scoop.it

Last week a Associated Press article proclaimed that the rehabilitation taking place after the Soda Fire, which burned 225,953 acres along highway 95 on the Oregon/Idaho border in August, was going well. Not so fast. According to a report from Roger Rosentreter, a retired PhD botanist who worked for the BLM for 38 years, things aren’t going so well. Dr Rosentreter submitted his report to the BLM on April 25th after attending a tour of the Soda Fire recovery area sponsored by the Society for Ecological Restoration on April 12th. The tour was attended by staff from the USGS as well as the BLM. The tour consisted of stops at three areas, the Wilson meteorological/erosion station, the Blackstock drill seeding area, and the Upper Blackstock area.

At the beginning of the report, Dr. Rosentreter states:

"Based on observations at these sites is possible that BLM caused more damage than good on the Soda fire rehabilitation. Many of these actions caused damaged forbs and biocrusts. These disturbances destabilized the soil and will encourage the colonization by invasive species including cheatgrass."

Large areas of the Soda Fire have been replanted with Siberian and crested wheatgrass, a non-native grass species that ranchers like for its livestock forage value. It has little value as wildlife habitat and is difficult to get rid of once it has been established. In one unburned area visited by Dr. Rosentreter, the BLM had used rangeland drills to disturb the soil and plant seeds. According to Rosentreter, this area did not need rehabilitation but, unfortunately, the drills overturned the soils in the unburned area and little was growing in the newly disturbed soils. These disturbed soils are now prime habitat for cheatgrass and medusahead rye, another invasive annual grass that has gained a foothold in this area and that is just as bad for fueling fires but even less palatable for wildlife than cheatgrass.

To summarize, Dr. Rosentreter says:

"The BLM project personnel may not have consulted with a broad cross section of their own experienced resource personnel and, instead, relied on less ecologically knowledgeable fire, operations, and local range staff for planning this apparently ill-fated rehabilitation operation. An oversite review by BLM soil scientists, botanists and more experienced wildlife personnel could have provided valuable recommendations for adaptive management. Future review by non-agency scientists might help to improve future fire rehabilitation plans and actions. This rehabilitation did not utilize the knowledge gained from recent science on fire rehabilation nor on the vegetative needs of sage grouse."

Garry Rogers's insight:
GR:  BLM often tries to assist ranchers without regard for the long-term stability of rangeland ecosystems.  Here's another excellent example of the disastrous consequences.
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The Brink of Mass Extinction

The Brink of Mass Extinction | GarryRogers Biosphere News | Scoop.it

March through June 2014 were the hottest on record globally. While a single extreme weather event is not proof of anthropogenic climate disruption, the increasing intensity and frequency of these events are.

Garry Rogers's insight:

Excellent review of news on effects and responses to anthropogenic climate disruption (ACD).  Covers Earth, water, air, fire, and denial. 

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Invasive Plants in the Sonoran Desert | Wild Sonora

Invasive Plants in the Sonoran Desert | Wild Sonora | GarryRogers Biosphere News | Scoop.it
Fire-prone invasive plants introduced from Africa and Asia are reducing the intervals between fires below the colonization and recovery capability of desert vegetation.
Garry Rogers's insight:

Invasive species, like storm troopers leading the surging ruin of global warming, are demolishing Earth's ecosystems.

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The White House posted a video linking the California wildfires to climate change. Here’s why.

The White House posted a video linking the California wildfires to climate change. Here’s why. | GarryRogers Biosphere News | Scoop.it
Wildfires are tangible. Carbon dioxide is not.
Garry Rogers's insight:

GR:  Fire fighters know that climate controls fire occurrence.  Day to day variations and annual averages of temperature, humidity, wind, and fuel are principal ingredients in fire severity and spread.  As the normal gradient from arctic to tropics breaks down and the jet stream wanders and stalls, occasional high-fire-danger conditions can persist long enough for destructive fires to spread far beyond historical experience.

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Global Warming

Global Warming | GarryRogers Biosphere News | Scoop.it
Northern Canada is On Fire, And It's Making Global Warming Worse For the past few weeks, dry and warm weather have fueled large forest fires across Canada's remote Northwest Territories. The extent of those fires is well above average for the year to-date, and is in line with climate trends of more fires burning in the northern reaches of the globe.

Of the 186 wildfires in the Northwest Territories to-date this year, 156 of them are currently burning. That includes the Birch Creek Fire complex, which stretches over 250,000 acres.

The amount of acres burned in the Northwest Territories is six times greater than the 25-year average to-date according to data from the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Center.

Boreal forests like those in the Northwest Ter..
Garry Rogers's insight:

Increasing fire occurrence means that a site is more likely to be burned a second time before the vegetation can recover.  This quickly leads to a reduction in diversity and stability.

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