Thursday, June 7, 2012

Fire Adaptated Ecosystems: An Ideology That Misrepresents Nature

Credit Photo: The INQUISITR
This is a recent photo of the present ongoing Whitewater-Baldy Complex Fire in western New Mexico. The fire appears to be growing in several different directions and is now said to be greater in size then that infamous fire that burned towards the Nuclear Research Laboratory last year which was to have supposedly broken all the records back then. It is said that 20 years of drought coupled with increased human activity are creating further problems not just for the four corner states but all throughout the west. This one however was supposedly Lightning caused by several strikes from what must be an early Monsoonal flow from Mexico I would assume. Below is an informative site where you may follow specially design Google Earth Fire maps and updates of all fires and other natural incidents around the country. Might be good to bookmark this site and refer to it often if what they are prophesying about the West's future this year comes true. Very kool link!!!
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There is certainly no doubt that I love the natural world and I am always interested in finding answers to questions I have of just how things REALLY work as opposed to all the popular ideological assertions, assumptions, conjectures and speculations. I'm a facts person. I don't mind faith, as I have faith on many things, but at the very least I want faith based on facts which makes the inference more powerful. As time has panted on to the end, our natural world's resources have also rapidly changed along with the humankind's continued social downwards spiral. So I get a bit jealous when I see something in nature demonized so much like the natural Chaparral Community when horrific fires occur. The media doesn't really care as all they want is a sensational story for ratings. Scientists who should know better and care about the truth of the matter, but their hands are tied because going against the politics and standing up for what is right could be career ending.  The other day I was writing about a common species of Chaparral called Chamise (Adenostoma fasciculatum) which is often referred to by it's other common name Greasewood because of a large amount of volatile oils found within it's wood tissues. But this is nothing new as there are many plants including most ornamental plants sold at the local nurseries which have volatile oils and will burn equally as well or better than GreasewoodWhile researching, I also found this disturbing statement in some of the literature I found on the Greasewood subject and this irresponsible thinking is common among those who do not understand the Chaparral community and would choose to blame and demonize old growth Chaparral as the cause of horrific firestorms as opposed to doing the real science and following it's lead.

Here's a quote of this common attitude & misrepresentation about Chaparral Plant Community  taken off the Wiki article's definition:
"Chaparral habitats are known for their fierce periodical wildfires . . . . " 
(this has been proven a historical lie just recently, more on this later)
The facts are that no matter what the vegetation type there is on planet Earth, all of it (anything organic) will burn. Remember all those deliberately set & Human caused Rain (wet habitat) Forest fires ? But - Rain Forests ? YES! But the demonization of the native chaparral plant community is more of an ideological myth based on lousy, lazy and no doubt special economic interest biased science. I also suspect another hidden agenda driven reason is an economic one by which developers and politicians use this excuse for scheming & planning more and more future development, but that's another story. There are also most likely special interested parties who have lobbied for land clearing contracts to be fulfilled and no doubt the public relations appearance to Joe/Jane Q-Public that the government really does care & is doing something about the problem, even though it's merely a symptoms problem and not the actual causation. As usual, mostly politically motivated science is more interested in a good ol'profiteering "Fix-It-Pill" approach as opposed to an actual research for finding an the cure and preventative measures to stop the cause dead in it's tracks. Most science in our world today takes this approach no matter what the scientific discipline.  Usually many of the Defenders of these Scientists and Researchers tell us and insist that the problems are not the fault of these innocent scientists. They were merely following  orders to do what the corporations owners that employ them told them to do. This is often the excuse used for much of the irresponsible GMO research and products pushed out into the natural world & even an unwilling skeptical public who is at the mercy of these economic powerhouses. We are told they have their hands tied and there is nothing they can or could have done differently. Well they still do have freewill don't they ? I always love a good Nuremburg Defense story!

So where do they get their version of fire science & understanding from anyway ? What historical year did they start studying fire dynamics in the real world of nature and what time of that year did they study nature caused fires ? To my knowledge most of the modern fire explanations of fire behavior have come from burn patterns during those Santa Ana wind driven and human triggered fires. I remember after the late 1970 San Diego County Laguna Fire, (which just happen to be a Santa Ana Wind driven fire), the experts were amazed at what they termed the mosaic burn pattern phenomena characteristic with these fires. It was this that justified to them to creatively select a sort of quilt patchwork pattern of regular seasonal burns in the chaparral bush communities and justifying these maintenance programs by terming them "Control Burns" . But did they really mimic the historical precedent of natural fires ? Does anyone know what time of the year normal "Nature Caused" fires usually took place ? Was the historical pattern in natural fires to be found in the dead of winter when these fires took place ? I mean this is the time of year  when modern science-based applicational techniques are forced onto the natural landscape. Do these mimic nature by burning during this time of the rainy season ? If not, then could it be truthfully said that these science-based "Control Burns" really mimic how nature does or did it way back when ? Did nature caused fires really happen around the time of year Santa Ana Wind periods historically took place even if those winds were not as bad as they are now with climate change factoring in ? 

Hence we were given the story that fire burns in a mosaic pattern, therefore Scientists and other Researchers decided apply this pattern out in their own science based "Control burns" projects for fuel reduction.  You see the modern Science insists it's a fuel reduction problem and nothing more. Why it has nothing to do with human ignorance or flat out stupidity or even the time of year when these fires occur, after all, we're scientists and we should know. Why those fires of long ago use to clean everything dead out the landscape and leave the land clean and pure. Chaparral itself isn't a healthy happy habitat unless it burns regularly. Hence we've got to bring this historical pattern back as a preventative measure. The problem is that ever since they have been practicing their pat on the back science-based "Control Burning", fires are far worse now than ever before in history. (BTW, as a side note: 'Prescribed Burns' are the new terminology of flavour since their "Control Burns" were commonly found to get out of control & with devastating results)

Let me reveal some other science which actually counteracts the political-ideologically driven economic biased science thinking mentioned above. Here is an article which appeared recently.


Ancient Tree-Ring Records From Southwest United States Suggest Today’s Megafires Are Truly Unusual


Unprecedented study relies on more than 1,500 years of tree-ring data and hundreds of years of fire-scar records gathered from Ponderosa Pine forests
Some pertinent quotes:
"The researchers found that even when ancient climates varied from each other — one hotter and drier and the other cooler and wetter — the frequencies of year-to-year weather patterns that drive fire activity were similar."
 Reeeeeaalllly ?????

"Furthermore, the findings implicate as the cause not only modern climate change, but also human activity over the last century", the researchers said.
Nooo!!! Human Activity ?????? 

"They discovered that the Medieval Warm Period was no different from the Little Ice Age in terms of what drives frequent low-severity surface fires: year-to-year moisture patterns."
Just for the record, what is meant by Little Ice Age means a time period when the climate was wetter & cooler
As far as the term, Medieval Warm Period, this was said to be a time period of droughts and hotter temps.

Okay- short timeout: So the Critics who hated this research, rather theorized instead that fires logically hate cold & wet but love hot & dry. But the actual research here said, "It Didn't Matter Then & Doesn't Now Matter" Also, in actual fact fires really don't mind or could care less if it's cold or even sometimes wet, so what's the difference ? Severe hurricane type winds. Fires are wind driven not fuel driven. I experienced and saw this many times during those hideous Santa Ana Wind events with these high elevation hurricane force winds driving a fire in frigid cold wintertime with ice and the fire was ALWAYS human caused & NOT Chaparral caused.
"Ancient fires were frequent, but didn’t burn the forest canopy" 

"Fire scientists know that in ancient forests, frequent fires swept the forest floor, often sparked by lightning. Many of the fires were small, less than a few dozen acres. Other fires may have been quite large, covering tens of thousands of acres before being extinguished naturally. Fuel for the fires included grass, small trees, brush, bark, pine needles and fallen limbs on the ground." 

The fires cleaned up the understory, kept it very open, and made it resilient to climate changes because even if there was a really severe drought, there weren’t the big explosive fires that burn through the canopy because there were no fuels to take it up there,” Roos said. “The trees had adapted to frequent surface fires, and adult trees didn’t die from massive fire events because the fires burned on the surface and not in the canopy.”
Okay so a few points here. This I can agree with. Most fires in nature (no human causess) were lightning caused. Yep and what time of year are there Lightning Fires if they even happen at all ? Summer(July/August) Monsoonal Moisture season coming up from Tropical Air from Mexico. That certainly doesn't replicate the same pattern as 'Control' *cough-cough* I mean "Presrcibed Burns" which are only done as one instructions manual said it online:
 "Controlled burns should be performed through late fall into early spring. Controlled burns during these times reduces the likelihood of out of control fires."
Another point in that quote was that these frequent fires burned only the understory and it was a rare event for the fire to climb upwards and to burn the vegetation canopy. Yup same thing with fires I often saw in Anza near my home. These lightning fires would happen during the summertime monsoonal Thunderstorm events. Humidity is most always extremely high up in the mountains and most fires don't always burn well when there is high humidity.
 (Just listen to any Special Fire News Report where some  expert is quoted by the Media as saying we need higher humidity levels to get a handle on this thing) 

 Wind of summer monsoons comes up out of the southeast, but not as extreme as those wintertime northeastern Santa Ana Winds. When I had a few fires near my home and later checked them out around the hills near my property after the local fire crews put them out, it was the Redshank Chaparral understory that was charred clean. Even with the stringy dry ribbonous bark (hence the name Ribbonwood) hanging all around the trunk and limbs the fires still never reached or climbed up into the chaparral canopy of the Redshank or Scrub Oak. Number of reasons why. Often instead of burning uphill these fires were burning down hill. But even when burning upwards, these fires still never reached these Chaparral canopies. In some ideal cases there would even be heavy rains which would put the fire either completely out or beat it down to a white smoky steaming smolder. Now this was not always the norm. Some fires obviously did & do get out of control when there is lightning, but these have been made worse that way because of human land mismanagement practices which have allowed foxtails and other non-native weeds to creep into the landscape understory which never existed there before. Now there is one other reason why things worked back then before human contact and here it is.
"Today’s huge canopy fires are the cumulative result of human activity" 
"The ancient pattern of generally small, frequent fires changed by the late 1800s. The transcontinental railroad had pushed West, bringing farmers, ranchers, cattle and sheep. Those animals grazed the forest floor, consuming the grasses that fueled small fires but leaving small saplings and brush, which then grew up into dense, mature bushes and trees. In addition, the U.S. began to restrict the traditional land use of the region’s Native American communities, including confining them to reservations. This removed another source for frequent surface fires in the forests — burning by Native Americans for horticulture and hunting."
Yup, in nature large wild animals actually consume almost everything. Saplings are often a favourite food of Elk, Bison, Moose, Deer , etc. We had far more larger animal herds in times past and I think this most often gets overlooked as a major component of wildlands plant system maintenance. I have to tell you that before I left Anza CA it was already becoming less and less common to see deer in the wild and I'm sure it's worse even now. But besides deer there were many other animal types which had an influence on western plant communities for which it is almost impossible to fathom their ecological benefits when such pristine habitats no longer exist, so we can only speculate. (more on this in another future subject post)

But these Domestic animals the humans brought in for profit ventures are just plain dumb animals. That's why they have to be managed properly by responsible human custodians. It's not their fault they have no wild instincts, it was bred out of them. As quoted above, they'll eat only the Candy types of great tasting delicate grasses. Most all of them came from Europe and are use to European grasslands or meadows. But even in Europe Deer, MooseElk and what's left of Bison will eat numerous tree saplings. Just yesterday I watch a couple of deer in the fairly good example of medium growth, but bio-diverse forest feeding on Birch Saplings which were waist high and thick as foxtail grass. Yet they mowed down a couple dozen of them right before my very eyes while I waited for the trolley. Take the Deer or Elk away and you have a forest you can't even move through let alone see through. Sometime back I saw a documentary on modern German Forests over here where they had reintroduced elk back into some wild rural areas of eastern Germany and they noticed how they kept the forest from creeping into the meadows because they were eating the (Quercus robur) Oak tree seedlings. Remember when I wrote about the reintroduction of Wolves to Yellowstone in one of my other posts ? Remember how the Alder Trees came back along Riparian areas because the wolves kept the Elk on the move ? Remember the Elk had overgrazed the saplings and the trees never matured because they had no fear and so over did it on the grazing aspect ? It cuts both ways, we need balance in the management all the wat around.

Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms who was interviewed in the documentary film "Food Inc" speaks about this type of nature replication management with what he calls his sustainable "Salad Bar Beef". Here is what he does in managing his cattle if you watch one of his instructional videos. He encloses the animals into tight quarters of a pasture forcing them to graze everything within this section, but not all the way to the ground, because h then moves them on to new area patches each day. The system he uses doesn't allow for them to become picky eaters which is common on a wide open range grazing system. As Joel Salatin explains it, his system of forcing them to mob up is merely replicating the design observed in nature where the  wild Herbivores in Africa closely mob up together trying to stay safe from preditors in close quarter numbers. But the Domestics are too dumb to know that. So they need hands on help from responsible human managers which will force them to group. 

Here's another problem. Many people today who blindly support the present wildlands mismanagement policies also have what is coined "Smoky Bear Syndrome", which is the thinking to put out all fires because they are all evil. Well it's actually more extensive than that. Some of the well meaning yet misguided environmental tree-hugging folks don't want to let anything harm any trees. Here's the problem for the Nature Cause lovers, you can not base your fight for nature on mere emotion. You have to thoroughly educate yourself in order to be taken seriously. As a result well meaning intentions can allow plant communities to be untouched & overgrown which also often means a different type of mismanagement. Unfortunately too many of these trees create weedy situations which translate as fire ladders leading up into treetop canopies just as this latest science article stated. We need those weedy saplings to be grazed for a healthy forest. Of course for that we NEED more wild animals. Even the Forest Biologists are aware of an Elk or Deer's ability and desire to graze saplings. Look at what they do through their way over the roof budget with tree planting projects. This is why they spend large amounts of money on protective grazing guard meshes.



Image: Richard Halsey

Now as far as that Native American factor in landscape maintenance thing goes ? I don't know. I know many try to romanticize these ancient long gone folks as being one with the land and practically having this eco-greenism instinct  genetically encoded into their very DNA for proper caring of the land, but they are still human beings with all the same imperfections as everyone today. Some studies have suggested many ancient indigenous cultures screwed up their own environments and that's why they disappeared. The Ancient Anasazis come to mind. People of Easter Island. Central American Empires gone extinct before the Spanish, etc.




Control burning during the green time of the year does not replicate what nature did in the past and interestingly if you look at the original under-story at the main background photo, there was nothing wrong with it in the first place. It's all about the Ideology!
Here is the one thing about this 'fires are good for the environment' mentality. Fires are healthy for the environment. This is often said even after a Mega-Fire does it's dirty work and you will often here these comments by an uneducated Public who by nature parrot anything the experts will say. It  makes people feel they will be safer in the future. Yes plants can and do recover. Yes there are even some plants that benefit by having their seed cones burst and spreading new generations that way. 

However, these living organisms and their ecosystems were NOT meant to have extreme fires bulldoze destructive paths through the same areas year after year. No large plant communities will ever hold up to that. They need to often recover over a period of decades before they may be mature enough to even produce any future seed. Kill young trees year after year before they are mature enough to produce seed and they go extinct from that area for good. Then when replanting projects come in to rescue the day, they have to use seedlings grown from seed engineered to adapt to an entirely different geographical area.


Will they ever consider a burn management that uses a monsoonal situation during the summertime ? Unthinkable, but then why not ? Why not utilize animals for spring cleaning and managing them in a way where they clean the understory and utilize fires ever 40 or so years as was the case in the past ? Even these animals could keep it managed as would have been done in the wild past, then any fires would not be as big and as intense as control burns often are now. Even Joel Salatin uses his pigs to manage his forested lands by having the same electrical wire fence control system which encloses pigs onto a small acreage for exactly one month and then moves them onto newer understories. Then the forest floor becomes disturbed and tilled or turned over by the pigs which are removed after 1 month and it's allowed to recover for 11 months for which noticiable improvement in the health of the trees has been noted. He calls this his "one month of disturbance and eleven months of recovery" program. He compares it to the long gone Native North American Bison & Elk which accomplished this task previously.

Many times these winter season science-based burns which were designed by the experts to clean the understory from excess have actually gotten out of hand and destroyed Coulter Pine which was already naturally encroaching into the Chaparral Community which was at the edge of the forest. Had they left well enough alone, the natural processes of blue ScrubJays harvesting seed from Coulter Pine cones and storing or burrying them out in virgin areas of Chaparral cover would have actually fascilitated forest growth movement or expansion.

 But they ruined it by their mismanagement practices....... Hmmmmmm, Keen Summit on Hwy 74 in Mountain Center CA near Lake Hemet "Control Burn" Project by the California State Foresrty Service somehow comes to mind!!! 

Often during the summer monsoonal conditions when a lightning fire did happen, the smoke itself created a much larger Thunderhead canopy as those aerosols and other gas particles were thrust upwards into the center of the clouds and  fascilited further cloud formation with the continual infusion of southern monsoonal moisture flows. The result was a much larger Thunderhead for which to harvest further moisture out from the wet moist weather pattern.

When it's all reflected upon, one realizes that it is what they are doing now that isn't or hasn't been working and these latest study revelations as referenced above prove this. However attempting to replicate nature is at least worth a try. The one thing that will never happen is that this flawed thinking that the ecology will somehow evolve or adapt  itself through some imagined fantasy of an engineering process to resist all of this is flat out stupid. No plant or animal on earth will ever evolve or adapt to humankind's propensity at asinine stupid behavior. No plant or animal will ever evolve or adapt to some Wack Job's Psychopathic Pyro cravings to get off on watching the destruction they've created. No plant or animal will adapt or evolve to some idiot welding on a hot summer's day on his trailer in the backcountry which just happens to be next to a field of dried dead foxtails. No plant or animal is going to evolve or adapt to the improper maintenance or design flaws of an Electrical company's hardware grid networked system throughout the rural backcountry utility line right-of-ways.

Much of these catastrophic fire events could also be avoided also if the legal permitting processes didn't allow for some wealthy developer to build dream homes on view lots year after year on firetrap dead end landscapes where they have no business doing so. There are many mountain ridge-top places that should have never been allowed to be built onto. Now some firemen and/or women have to risk their lives to save the material dream possessions of those who wanted these pricey dream view lot paradise. Some areas will never make fire sense.



But once again the blaming game of the chaparral plant community and the idiotic mismanagement policies are not going to save the day, or by pilfering from the countless millions wasted from the little taxpayer dollars that are out there to find some sort of quick fix-it-pill. Firebreaks on a line of ridgetops are another one of those failed policies which have only served for the benefit of those favoured with the the work contracts for constructing them are NOT going to stop a hurricane wind driven intense firestorm. These clearings have also allowed non-native annual weed plants to take over and most of these are brought up to mountain tops by countless off-roaders who unknowingly bring the seeds up from landscapes below inside their vehicles. BTW, these weeds burn hot and fast like gasoline. Chaparral by comparison would burn slower, but given modern day wind events nothing really matters at that point. The only thing these failed firebreaks accomplish is the destruction of pristine Natural Habitat to be forever scared. A crew of several firetrucks being sent up on some of these rídgetop firebreaks to defend further territory is nothing more than suicide missions. Once again Chaparral is not to blame. Destroy that plant community and you doom further an already beaten down ecosystem for which evidence suggests that they strongly influence healthy weather patterns and potential necessary rainfall and deep earth reservoir water storage. Yeah, I know. It's just worthless brush.
BTW, here is the actual link to the latest fire study involving the tree rings data with it's abstract:

  1. Christopher I. Roos1
  2. Thomas W. Swetnam2
  1. 1Southern Methodist University, USA
  2. 2University of Arizona, USA
  1. Christopher I. Roos, Department of Anthropology, Southern Methodist University, PO Box 750366, Dallas TX 75205-1437, USA. Email: croos@smu.edu
Abstract:
Fire history reconstructions from fire scars in tree rings have been valuable for assessing fire regime changes and their climatic controls. It has been asserted, however, that these two- to four-century long records from the western USA are unrepresentative of longer periods of the Holocene and are of limited use for understanding current or future fire regimes. The Medieval Climate Anomaly (800–1300 ce) is often suggested as a better analog for future Southwestern US climates but is beyond the chronological range of most fire-scar studies in this region. To evaluate fire regime changes over the past millennium, we build on centennial-length fire–climate studies to generate a 1416 year long reconstruction of fire activity in ponderosa pine forests of the Southern Colorado Plateau region of Arizona and New Mexico. We used a split-period calibration and verification protocol to test the reliability of a multiple regression model using annual and antecedent precipitation (reconstructed from tree-ring width chronologies) to predict the percentage of fire-scar localities (i.e. sites, N=45) that recorded extensive fires within those sites (>25% of recorder trees scarred) each year between 1700 and 1899 ce. The model explains approximately 50% of the variation in annual fire activity. Applying the model to the entire precipitation reconstruction provides a proxy for annual area burned since 572 ce. There are no statistically significant differences between the period available for fire-scar study (1600 ce–present) and the Medieval Climate Anomaly (800–1300 ce) in terms of predicted annual area burned or the frequencies of regional fire years. Multidecadal and centennial variation in the frequencies of regional fire years, however, does indicate reduced surface fire frequencies from approximately 700–800 ce and 1360–1455ce. We hypothesize that these were periods when some forests were vulnerable to altered canopy structure, accumulated fuels, and increased fire severity.
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On an even further reference, here is an Australian ecology site which watchdogs some of the same failed policies by their government down under. The website and organization is called My Environment Inc.
$50 million dollar Fuel Breaks - And how did they perform on Feb 7?

Here are some incredible quotes from the article and see if you don't also find some familar comparisons from same failed science by the Australian Authorities as the Authorities in the States mandate. First some photos, then some quotes.


"Commissioner Bruce Esplin said the creation of strategic firebreaks, complemented by fuel reduction burning where possible, would help make towns and other important community assets safer from fire." 
Government promise - 2007
Wow, is there some international University which teaches this  same flawed line of reasoning ?


"Deep in the heart of Victoria’s Central Highland’s wilderness, a vast fire containment line 270 km long and up to 90 metres wide has dissected forests and National Parks. It cuts through endangered species habitat and pristine ecosystems to allegedly buffer Melbourne’s water catchments against the future threat of a bushfire."

"The selling of the logs taken from these forests raises the question whether the control lines are an abuse of the state’s emergency powers to allow the logging industry to access logs that would be otherwise out-of-bounds. There have also been questions asked by fire fighters whether the line itself increases the fire risk."

Unbelievable!



"There is no scientific literature that supports back burning in wet forests as these wet forests already contain micro firebreaks like fallen wet logs, luxuriant damp understorey, rainforest gullies and water rich mosses and lichens. These combine to cradle our water catchments. Prescription burning these forests will result in drying out and destroying these very attributes that impede fire."
"It has been suggested by the scientific community that the most likely reason why Melbourne’s catchments haven’t burnt yet is due to their vast, undisturbed old growth forests. The bulk of the state’s forests have been logged over the last century, transforming them from moisture-rich, diverse, old growth forests to fuel heavy, thickly regenerating tree crops of the same age and height. This is turning our forests into a tinder-box which makes them even more fire-prone" 

On another updated interesting note comes this photo and video on the Burn Ideology



In many places, farmers and developers are using fire on massive scales to clear forests. The practice has powerful implications for climate, ecosystems and air quality. Explore this global issue with a visit to the area around the Peruvian Amazon frontier town of Pucallpa.
Fire Video on Vimeo:
Burning the Land: Manmade Fires in the Amazon, and Beyond 
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Remember how the now famous or infamous 2003 Cedar fire started ? Was it nature caused or human caused ? History repeats itself over and over.
Lost camper’s smoke signals accidentally start massive island fire


Canadian camper rescued in Norway using smoke signals

Wow, once again, why is it that some average folks around the globe can observe how nature really works and make logical and practical applications of these designs and those in Authoritive charge with bottomless pit coffers and resources never ever get it, no matter what country on the planet ? ?
Whatever!

7 comments:

  1. I'll have to read through the entire post, but a quick note on the 1st paragraph regarding an "early monsoonal flow". This Gila fire, like the Sunday Jemez fire, was actually from storms triggered by a late-season backdoor cool front, carrying in moister, cooler airmass westward from the high plains over the mountains E of the Rio Grande valley.

    Happens more frequently this late than I recall (often weekly, now), but it results in dry t-storms further west...then the dry air pushes it back out until the next backdoor front. Definitely a different process than a monsoonal flow.

    Definitely no monsoonal flow is setting up in AZ-NM, but we are hoping to see a sign in the next few weeks. Looks abnormally dry even far to the S/SE in Mexico, where they usually moisten up by now...dewpoints at 28F in Zacatecas, 32F in Cd. Chihuahua, and 45F in Puebla...but moister in Mexico City at 55F.

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    1. Thanks, I could only guess as to the weather pattern from the read about lightning strikes. I forget weather there has a winter/spring influence as well.

      In Anza a couple of times we did actually have an early monssonal pattern as early as May in the 1980s, but those were some unusual wet seasons back then, Since that time the pattern there has been mostly a dry one for 20 years just as your area.


      Kevin


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  2. Really very well documented and researched post Mr Kevin. While agreeing to your version based on above narrations, there are certain areas specially the temperate forests having species like Pinus, Cedrus, Spruce etc which are having very high content of Resins where its only nature which contribute towards this problem. I hail from the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand of India where the recurrent yearly fires are very common and the undisputed reason for this is only needles of Pines containing resins. Moreover the trees of Pines are blazed for tapping resins by local people including Govt Deptt and this process leads to leaking and spillage of resins throughout the trunk and once there is any spark nearby its enough for engulfing huge chunks of forest areas. Temperate hilly area having slopes of various grade further assist the fire to spread quickly.

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    1. Thanks Mohan

      I'm wanting to do some more articles with some trees & habitats from your area over there in the India and Pakistan regions. In fact these are in the form of drafts at my other blog
      Earth's Internet: A Layman's Guide to Installation and Maintenance

      I understand one of our beloeved desert natives is a pest over there, Prosopis juliflora, so sorry to here this. But I find there are very basic principles & applications that can be used for all various similar dryland ecosystems. Looking forward to it. I'm presently residing in Sweden and work with some of your fellow young countryman, many though are pursuing microbiology and others computer programming. Your young people seem very serious and outstanding in these professional fields.

      The sad state of habitat management is worldwide not just in the United States. I'd say it started with the Euro cultures occupying the rest of the planet in search of wealth through exploitation of foreign natural resources. Unfortunately that pattern hasn't changed much today as is admitted by experts around the world and other dire scientific reports just recently. Look forward to reading more from your perspective.

      Thanks - Kevin


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    2. Thanks Kevin,
      I was quite impressed to know your wide areas of interest mostly relating to environmental issues and more closely Forestry related issues.You are correct to mention about the consequences of introducing Prosopis over here in India which has engulfed lot of precious and fertile areas.
      I fully agree with you view on habitat management which is equally poor and neglected in india also. To my opinion and duly supporting your statement, almost every activities being undertaken by people over the Globe has only wealth generation in their mind .The least priority and support to environment sector at policy and administration level is also making our habitats and environment further miserable.Ours is Parliamentary Democracy with Voting system to elect our public representatives. I once made one comment regarding the importance of trees in present system stating that "had the trees would have a voting Powers then perhaps not a single tree should have been removed or felled "..... But this is not possible ...its not the trees but only we the people who are having voting power and we only the great enemy of environment .....

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    3. PS: One gentle advice on your Blog format and font type . Your blog design is quite charming but the font type needs to be changed since many a time they are creating little difficulty to read... For example i was reading word "pest" as "past" in your response for Prosopis.Thnaks for the Font type. LOL...Hope you don't mind..

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    4. I know about the type, I've started creating it bigger, I wear glasses and can't hardly see the smaller print. But the next "Large" selection above normal seems to work. I play around with it.

      I've got a few more technial posts to print from my "Earth's Internet" blog. More to the point I'll be focusing on how forests create healthier trees and the processes and mechanics it accomplishes this. I understand the worl needs resources, but this obsession by the younger generations who are being targeted by the commercial elements marketing and advertising which tells them they can have it all now actually demands that the resources be overtaxed to meet this potential future demand. Young people don't realize that older generations didn't acquire their material abundance over night, it took a life time.

      I also think the blantant promotion of film celebrity and sports star lifestyles make this also a potential influence on the thinking of the young and let's don't forget Hollywood (Bollywood) *smile*

      Kevin


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