New research finds that global warming is intensifying wildfires

The federal agency, which manages 193m acres (78m hectares) of forest, will plead once again for more funding from Congress, in the wake of a devastating 2015 that saw record swaths of forest engulfed in flames.

A Handbook for Ranch ManagersI’ve got a better idea. Abolish the Forest Service and return the land to its rightful owners. — jtl, 419

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A total of 10.1m acres were burned last year, a figure that is double the typical losses seen 30 years ago. During this time, the average fire season in the US has lengthened by 78 days, with scientists predicting that the amount of forest razed by fire will double by 2050.

 Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference Manual Climate change-driven drought, wildfire and invasive diseases are stretching the US Forest Service to breaking point, the agency has warned. It spent about 65% of its $5bn budget dealing with wildfires last year and is requesting that fire be treated like other natural disasters so that it is able to access more money to keep pace.

A wildfire burns behind a home in Twisp, Washington, in August 2015.
A wildfire burns behind a home in Twisp, Washington, in August 2015. Photograph: Ted S Warren/AP

“We are seeing real challenges on the ground – climate change is real and it Environmental & Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian Viewis with us,” Robert Bonnie, under secretary for natural resources and environment at the US Department of Agriculture, told the Guardian. “The whole US Forest Service is shifting to becoming an agency dominated by wildfires. We really are at a tipping point. The current situation is not sustainable.”

Combat Shooter's Handbook  Bonnie said the growing conflagration of America’s forests means the US Forest Service has had to divert resources from other areas, such as the kind of forest restoration that helps prevent future wildfires. Attempts to remedy this situation with a new disaster fund were dashed when it was not included in the federal budget in December.

Reconnaissance Marine MCI 03.32f: Marine Corps Institute  “We will keep on this and try again this year,” he said. “There are clear challenges that are hard to argue with. Fighting catastrophic fires is becoming even more dangerous because there are more homes and people in our forest areas. If we don’t deal with this, the trends are going to look very bad indeed.”

Last year, Washington state endured its largest wildfires on record, with three people dying and more than 100 homes lost. The blazes were declared a national emergency, with the smoke causing a haze to settle over Seattle for several days. Nationally, 13 firefighters died tackling various wildfires last year.

A red turpentine beetle, a type of bark beetle, pictured near San Francisco.
A red turpentine beetle, a type of bark beetle, pictured near San Francisco. Climate change is expected to make insect infestations more common. Photograph: Edward S Ross/AP

Major wildfires are just one of several threats to the US’s ailing forest system. A report released by the US Forest Service last week found that worsening drought conditions will increase the risk of tree and shrub death as well as unleash outbreaks of insect infestation. More than 20m acres of forest in the US west has already been affected by bark beetles that thrive in dry, warm conditions.

The Essence of Liberty: Volume I: Liberty and History: The Rise and Fall of the Noble Experiment with Constitutionally Limited Government (Liberty and ... Limited Government) (Volume 1)  The Essence of Liberty: Volume II: The Economics of Liberty (Volume 2) The Essence of Liberty: Volume III: A Universal Philosophy of Political Economy (Liberty: A Universal Political Ethic) (Volume 3) “Droughts are predicted to accelerate the pace of invasion by some nonnative plant species into rangelands and grasslands,” the report states. “Drought can also promote plant invasion indirectly by modifying the environment to favor nonnative species. Indirect effects of drought on forests can be widespread and devastating.”

California is currently enduring its worst drought in 1,200 years, while the national climate change assessment, released in 2014, stated that “widespread drought is projected to become more common over most of the central and southern United States” if greenhouse gas emissions are not significantly curtailed.

“We are seeing significant problems with forest health across the country, with acute problems in the west,” said Bonnie. “The warmer temperatures are putting trees under stress. We have changed the ecosystems so they are more susceptible to disease and catastrophic fire, as well as raised the temperature around them. This is a real challenge for us.”


A Handbook for Ranch ManagersA Handbook for Ranch Managers.  In keeping with the “holistic” idea that the land, the livestock, the people and the money should be viewed as a single integrated whole: Part I deals with the management of the natural resources. Part II covers livestock production and Part III deals with the people and the money. Not only would this book make an excellent basic text for a university program in Ranch Management, no professional ranch manager’s reference bookshelf should be without it. It is a comprehensive reference manual for managing the working ranch. The information in the appendices and extensive bibliography alone is worth the price of the book.

You might also be interested in the supplement to this Handbook: Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference Manual.

About Land & Livestock Interntional, Inc.

Land and Livestock International, Inc. is a leading agribusiness management firm providing a complete line of services to the range livestock industry. We believe that private property is the foundation of America. Private property and free markets go hand in hand—without property there is no freedom. We also believe that free markets, not government intervention, hold the key to natural resource conservation and environmental preservation. No government bureaucrat can (or will) understand and treat the land with as much respect as its owner. The bureaucrat simply does not have the same motives as does the owner of a capital interest in the property. Our specialty is the working livestock ranch simply because there are so many very good reasons for owning such a property. We provide educational, management and consulting services with a focus on ecologically and financially sustainable land management that will enhance natural processes (water and mineral cycles, energy flow and community dynamics) while enhancing profits and steadily building wealth.
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