Don’t blame global warming

Prescribed burn in southern pine forest

The problem with blaming global warming for everything is that it discourages better management practices that could be done, should be done to make our forests healthier. A good example are pine beetles. They are a problem and have been for years. They have become worse in recent times, and the facile explanation is global warming.

This article tells about how better management techniques slow the beetles. “As Dr Hood reports in Ecological Applications, the death toll was 50% in the control zone, 39% in the area intentionally burned, 14% in the one both thinned and burned, and nearly zero where it was merely thinned.”

Pine beetles are a threat in our Southern forests too. We know that the beetles are slow and stupid. When the tree are far enough apart, the beetles have trouble preying on trees and birds have an easier time preying on the beetles. That is a big reason we thin. Western forests are more often managed by the Forest Service and they more often are victims of misguided activists “protectors” who object to thinning or burning. As a result of the activists the forests are destroyed by insect and burned disastrously instead of in a better planned way.

So much of the destruction of Western forests is causes not in spite of the best efforts of activists, but because of them. Don’t blame global warming.

Reference

Other blog posts

Fire in Texas oak openings

Burning Questions

Setting the woods on fire

Burn the brush but save the soil

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