Shit in the Air! / Causes of Fires / Native California Land Management / Forest Management

Talking to Louie on the phone just now about the smoky air of the last week, he said, “That isn’t just wood smoke: It’s plastics, building materials, exploded gasoline, burned-up houses and cars…”

Shit, I hadn’t thought of that this last week. I wasn’t out running, but did take a few walks.

I shouda stayed inside a lot more.

We went on to talk about causes of these fires. He said that a lot of the problem is the type of logging that does not deal with the “understory” — all the saplings and plants that spring up afterwards. If they keep growing unchecked, they produce ever more fuel for fire. It makes sense to burn the understory (at its right phase of growth) on a windless day in wet or moist weather.

When foresters are involved in a cut, they will set a limit on the height of the understory, so loggers have to cut slash up into smaller pieces; this is managing the forest. However a lot of logging is interested in profit, not land management, and they leave behind conditions ripe for fire.

He then segued into how the Pomo of the Pt. Arena / Manchester area managed the land. In addition to hunting, fishing, and  harvesting, they used fire to clear selected areas of land, making it easier to move around, making hunting easier, producing green young growth.

I told him about this great book, Tending the Wild, by M. Kat Andersen; about “…indigenous land management practices …in… California when first encountered by Europeans and detailed explication of the care of, harvesting of, and use of California’s native plants.”

You can get it at Larner Seeds: www.shltr.net/tend

The cycle of life…

3 Responses to Shit in the Air! / Causes of Fires / Native California Land Management / Forest Management

  1. Maui Surfer says:

    The Woolsey fire in California began Nov. 8 near the Santa Susana Field Laboratory (SSFL), site of a partial reactor meltdown, the consequences of which have never been cleaned up.
    In 2010, DTSC signed agreements with the Department of Energy and NASA that committed them to clean up all detectable contamination in their operational areas by 2017. DTSC also in 2010 committed to require Boeing, which owns most of the site, to cleanup to comparable standards. But the cleanup has not yet begun, and DTSC is currently considering proposals that will leave much, if not all, of SSFL’s contamination on site permanently.
    https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/11/16/wolsey-fire-burns-toxic-santa-susana-reactor-site/

  2. crowldawg says:

    Did the prez get a copy of your post?

  3. Maui Surfer says:

    What is sinking into the consciousness of all is that the destination State; the so called Golden State is seriously tarnished. The streets seem abandoned as schools, businesses – and even San Francisco’s famed cable cars are closed. The common view of seeing the iconic Golden Gate Bridge across the bay is becoming a thing of the past and part of the wardrobe of our grand children will most likely require face masks.
    https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/11/21/paradise-lost-2/

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