Forest Fires in Sierra Nevada Driven by Past Land Use

Firefighter with drip torch setting a prescribed burn

Changes in human uses of the land have had a large impact on fire activity in California’s Sierra Nevada since 1600, according to new research

Forest fire activity in California's Sierra Nevada since 1600 has been influenced more by how humans used the land than by climate, according to new research led by University of Arizona and Penn State scientists.

For the years 1600 to 2015, the team found four periods, each lasting at least 55 years, where the frequency and extent of forest fires clearly differed from the time period before or after.

However, the shifts from one fire regime to another did not correspond to changes in temperature or moisture or other climate patterns until temperatures started rising in the 1980s.

Forest Service, Wildfire, Sierra Nevada

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USFWS issues final policy on mitigating impacts

usfws logoU.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Issues Final Policy on Mitigating Impacts of Development to Further Conservation of Nation’s Wildlife and their Habitats

Policy provides a framework for more efficient and effective mitigation measures while facilitating review and approval of development projects

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced a final revised Mitigation Policy that will guide its review of potential impacts of land and water development projects on America’s wildlife and their habitats. Through this policy, the Service will help others mitigate (avoid, minimize and compensate) for a project’s impacts to species and their habitats. This update of the Service’s longstanding Mitigation Policy, which has guided agency recommendations since 1981, will provide a broad and flexible framework to facilitate conservation that addresses the potential negative effects of development, while allowing economic activity to continue.

USFWS, mitigation impacts

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New Aerial Survey Identifies More Than 100 Million Dead Trees in California

usfs logoVALLEJO, Calif., Nov. 18, 2016 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced today that the U.S. Forest Service has identified an additional 36 million dead trees across California since its last aerial survey in May 2016. This brings the total number of dead trees since 2010 to over 102 million on 7.7 million acres of California's drought stricken forests. In 2016 alone, 62 million trees have died, representing more than a 100 percent increase in dead trees across the state from 2015. Millions of additional trees are weakened and expected to die in the coming months and years.

Forest Service, Sierra Nevada, Drought, tree mortality

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Bishop: Obama’s Midnight Fish and Wildlife Service Policy Sets Irresponsible Mitigation Standards

house nrWashington, D.C. (Nov 18, 2016) – Today, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released the final revised policy on mitigation impacts of development. Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) released the following statement:

“Up until the bitter end, this administration’s Fish and Wildlife Service is forcing damaging, last-minute edicts on their way out the door.  I have significant concerns that this ‘mitigation’ policy will only create more undue barriers to economic activity and infrastructure needs. It sets irresponsible mitigation standards. This rule won’t help the environment or the American people, but it will do wonders for the special-left interest and litigious groups that have Obama’s ear.”

USFWS, mitigation impacts

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MEXICAN WOLF UPDATE - October 2016

az gfMexican Wolf Reintroduction Project
MEXICAN WOLF UPDATE - October 2016
Arizona Game and Fish Department

The following is a summary of Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project (Project) activities in the Mexican Wolf Experimental Population Area (MWEPA) in Arizona, including the Fort Apache Indian Reservation (FAIR), San Carlos Apache Reservation (SCAR), and New Mexico.  Additional Project information can be obtained by calling (928) 339-4329 or toll free at (888) 459-9653, or by visiting the Arizona Game and Fish Department website at http://www.azgfd.gov/wolf or by visiting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website at http://www.fws.gov/southwest/es/mexicanwolf. Past updates may be viewed on either website, or interested parties may sign up to receive this update electronically.

Arizona, Mexican Wolf

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