Author Archives: JohnMatel

Last day in San Diego – Stay Classy

Notice the difference in the photo, not beer but ice cream. The others are more of the usual. We had lunch at a place called Union in San Diego’s Gaslight district. Food was good, but we wanted the ambiance of … Continue reading

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Salton Sea, Borrego Springs, California

We had a beer-less lunch today in a little village called Borrego Springs. We drove from Palm Desert to Temecula in a very round about way, first going south the Salton City and then west through Borrego Desert Park. The … Continue reading

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Joshua Tree again

Joshua Tree National Park protects a unique environment where two environments meet. The Joshua Trees grow in the high desert of the Mojave. As you go downhill, you get into the Colorado Desert biome. The Colorado is a subset of … Continue reading

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Young men are stupid

Next note in my story. This one asked about my first big trip alone.   It was not a good idea, but did it anyway. I had planned to hitchhike to Arizona over spring break with a couple of young … Continue reading

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Wildfire & forestry – the long view

Wildfire is interesting, and images are compelling – brave men and women fighting an implacable foe, exciting machines and aircraft deployed in battle, human anguish, then resilience and rebuilding. What a narrative! Most of what we “know” is wrong Yet, … Continue reading

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Another year in the forest (2018)

Busiest year so far in my forests.  I am getting to do lots more of the things I want to do and the work is starting to be the way I hoped it would be.  I spend a lot of … Continue reading

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Leopold Landscapes

Aldo Leopold is a kind of patron saint for me. I was introduced to his writing when I was in 12th grade. Also important, I grew up near and in Leopold landscapes. Aldo Leopold got so much right. But in … Continue reading

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My notes from “Water @ Wilson: 50 Years of Water, Conflict & Cooperation

My notes from “Water @ Wilson: 50 Years of Water, Conflict & Cooperation I attended the above conference on November 28.  Below are notes. Water is critical. It grows our food, generates our energy, and ensures our prosperity. To address … Continue reading

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Seeking Meaning In Life

I am invited to address a Department of State Public Affairs Officer conference to provide insights from someone who had crossed the bar from active diplomat to retired Foreign Service Officer. Some people in that audience might be reading this. … Continue reading

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Fires in California – Fire is NOT the Enemy

Let’s just get the California politics out of current partisan bickering. Let me be plain about this. If you are blaming Trump or blaming Jerry Brown or thinking of this in any current political way, you are ignorant. Cut it … Continue reading

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