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Soft Hands Steve at it again.

SnowyMountaineer

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Does wildfire improve browsing habitat for elk/moose/deer?
It sure does with moose up in Alaska. View attachment 227864
Naturally patterned and moderate intensity wildfire can provide additional and diverse forage/cover options for a variety of wildlife. High intensity and catastrophic wildfire can char soil organic matter and homogenize/sterilize large landscapes for many, many years. I'd wager the proposal covered in the article has little to do with actually implementing best management practices for wildlands.
 

Wind Gypsy

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Can someone refresh my memory on how restrictions in a WSA differ from wilderness?

Seems the concern would be that they open these up to more roads/development?

Daines said that all of the lands would remain federally owned, with USFS saying the Middle Fork Judith WSA will retain Roadless Area protections.
Maybe it's just my ignorance of the story behind the story but it doesn't sound all bad. If these areas haven't been logged, some logging wouldn't suck IMO?
 

AlaskaHunter

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Naturally patterned and moderate intensity wildfire can provide additional and diverse forage/cover options for a variety of wildlife. High intensity and catastrophic wildfire can char soil organic matter and homogenize/sterilize large landscapes for many, many years. I'd wager the proposal covered in the article has little to do with actually implementing best management practices for wildlands.
In Alaska, high intensity fires are best to remove the thick organic horizon and expose mineral soil in black spruce leading to a shift from black spruce to aspen/willow systems. It is nearly impossible to burn hot and deep such that aspen does not sucker and
willow does not sprout post-fire.
 

Sytes

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None of our representatives from MT give a $hit about the state. They do whatever they have to do to get political points.
Sure seems that way. Yet the majority of Montanans continue to vote them into Office. Party line politics vs placing a vote for the best person, regardless red or blue.
Then, there's the pro/con weight for the vast array of issues that face Montanans within our great State and our federal footprint.
Too many people vote from the trench two party disease. Too few actually vote for the best of the typical garbage the red and blue feed...
Would sure be a quality setting if a third party gained ground however, as Theodore Roosevelt once said,

"The system of party government is not written in our constitutions, but it is none the less a vital and essential part of our form of government. In that system the party leaders should serve and carry out the will of their own party.
There is no need to show how far that theory is from the facts, or to rehearse the vulgar thieving partnerships of the corporations and the bosses, or to show how many times the real government lies in the hands of the boss, protected from the commands and the revenge of the voters by his puppets in office and the power of patronage.
We need not be told how he is thus entrenched nor how hard he is to overthrow. The facts stand out in the history of nearly every State in the Union. They are blots on our political system." -
March 20, 1912. Carnegie Hall, NY.
 

SnowyMountaineer

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In Alaska, high intensity fires are best to remove the thick organic horizon and expose mineral soil in black spruce leading to a shift from black spruce to aspen/willow systems. It is nearly impossible to burn hot and deep such that aspen does not sucker and
willow does not sprout post-fire.
That is interesting. In many Rocky Mountain forests the O horizon is only a couple of inches deep at best, and sites will not produce when sterilized down to mineral. Most are not wet enough to support aspen/willow systems, aside from specific, seasonally inundated landforms. I spent a summer doing post fire soil monitoring on the Helena NF in about 2008; hydrophobicity, soil OM, infiltration, stem counts, etc.. As of a couple of years ago, driving through some of those areas it looks pretty close to the same as it did in 2008. Some recovering nicely, just depends.

That's not to say fire, wild or prescribed, isn't useful for realizing habitat heterogeneity and invigorating encroached aspen. Just that high intensity across broad swathes of historically suppressed forest is an ecological problem in Rocky Mountain systems. There are some here who could do a much better job describing the situation than me.
 

Mustangs Rule

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Middle Fork of the Judith makes sense, because we really need more open roads and ATV trails in those mountains.

Is this what "we need more of"
 

bullbugle307

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Can someone refresh my memory on how restrictions in a WSA differ from wilderness?

Seems the concern would be that they open these up to more roads/development?


Maybe it's just my ignorance of the story behind the story but it doesn't sound all bad. If these areas haven't been logged, some logging wouldn't suck IMO?
Best I recall...

WSAs are managed such that nothing can be done on the WSA that would preclude it from capital W designation in the future. IIRC it's called the non impairment standard or something like that. Whereas a capital W wilderness can have airstrips and all kinds of other things one wouldn't normally associate with wilderness, provided those things were decided upon in the enabling language.
 

Beignet

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Montaña
The western periphery of Wales Creek is already crawling with side by sides, a lot seemingly from guests at Paws Up. I’ve kind of enjoyed finding some peace and quiet inside the WSA. I’ll write to Daines and let him know as much.

Funny how one of our senators is trying to diminish wilderness whereas the other one frequently introduces legislation to expand it.
 

longbow51

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So how do we get all the beetle killed stuff out before everything burns? Isn't there some compromise? Not my area of expertise.
 

Ben Lamb

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So how do we get all the beetle killed stuff out before everything burns? Isn't there some compromise? Not my area of expertise.

It seems like a narrow window between salvage logging for beetle kill & rot to where those logs aren't merchantable.

But there's other science that shows leaving those trees helps ecological diversity 7 improves habitat quality over the long run, even if fire comes through. the idea that we can log our way out of severe fire is not really fact-based on the scale that people like Senator Daines would like us to believe. Within the WUI, absolutely - defensible space and selective thinning is the best bet to preserve property & structures.

However, the majority of fires are started in areas that are already heavily logged, roaded and see more people than the roadless, wilderness or WMA areas. That's more a function of people being the primary cause of forest fires.
 
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Sytes

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The senator has


It seems like a narrow window between salvage logging for beetle kill & rot to where those logs aren't merchantable.

But there's other science that shows leaving those trees helps ecological diversity 7 improves habitat quality over the long run, even if fire comes through. the idea that we can log our way out of severe fire is not really fact-based on the scale that people like Senator Daines would like us to believe. Within the WUI, absolutely - defensible space and selective thinning is the best bet to preserve property & structures.

However, the majority of fires are started in areas that are already heavily logged, roaded and see more people than the roadless, wilderness or WMA areas. That's more a function of people being the primary cause of forest fires.
Every year there's multiple fires in the Bob Marshall alone. Not sure if I would believe acreage, per capita of wilderness vs all other national forests that there are more (or less) fires. However, I've never personally researched it. Lightning seems to be the king fire maker of wilderness.
I suppose using that factor compounded by the additional human footprint fire potential - Id follow your train of thought.
Fires are frequent, wilderness or not, IMO. I know it has me navigating annually for my adventures into the Bob.

I really think The Nature Conservancy holds the leading principle for thinning vs clear-cutting and those who believe forest overgrowth is ideal.
Fire reduced via TNC studies from thinning.

Pretty good content. There's some truth to Daines intent as well as the propaganda political swirl.
 

Ben Lamb

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Every year there's multiple fires in the Bob Marshall alone. Not sure if I would believe acreage, per capita of wilderness vs all other national forests that there are more (or less) fires. However, I've never personally researched it. Lightning seems to be the king fire maker of wilderness.
I suppose using that factor compounded by the additional human footprint fire potential - Id follow your train of thought.
Fires are frequent, wilderness or not, IMO. I know it has me navigating annually for my adventures into the Bob.

I really think The Nature Conservancy holds the leading principle for thinning vs clear-cutting and those who believe forest overgrowth is ideal.
Fire reduced via TNC studies from thinning.

Pretty good content. There's some truth to Daines intent as well as the propaganda political swirl.

Most of those small fires in the Bob (mostly) are naturally caused, correct. The large fire events in the bob are creating great elk habitat as well. But still, the NPS findings show that roughly 85% of forest fires are man-caused.

 

Ben Lamb

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Pretty good content. There's some truth to Daines intent as well as the propaganda political swirl.

Honestly, I don't think so. If there were honest intent then he'd stop trying to sabotage things like the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act and holding it hostage for WSA release, which is his MO. He did that with the Rocky Mtn Front Heritage Act and he thinks that he can do the same swap here.

There is no real reason to go down the road of legislation when there are local citizens groups working on solving this issue locally except to try and use it as a bargaining chip in negotiations for other priorities from people with more power than the Jr Senator from MT.

If the intent is to solve those issues relative to long-standing WMA's, then he'd be better off working with those groups who are doing just that, rather than fighting them on their efforts.
 

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