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View Full Version : Up to 10K (hazard) trees to be cut down in Sequoia NP



slowdive
10-27-2021, 08:54
They are having to cut down 10,000 trees in Sequoia due to drought and fire damage. Some of the trees they will be removing are sequoias. If you have never been there, the trees are awe inspiring. That area is our second home so we feel a little sad about it but it is necessary unfortunately.

https://www.latimes.com/environment/story/2021-10-23/california-fires-sequoia-groves-highway-hazard-trees-to-be-removed

Alligator
10-27-2021, 10:11
Up to 10,000 trees, and the cut is described as occurring along the highway where the trees are hazardous to people and vehicles.

stephanD
10-27-2021, 13:37
Droughts that last for years, yearlong forest fires, floods of biblical proportions, hurricanes and tornadoes more frequent and more violent.......the future is now

Jonnycat
10-27-2021, 15:20
Nothing spoils a scenic viewpoint like a bunch of trees - I say good riddance to the damned things!

BlackCloud
10-28-2021, 08:55
Thank you Jonnycat. Most western forests are over forested by this point after a century of fire prevention and control. There was a great picture book documenting the centennial anniversary of George Custer's 1874? incursion of the Black Hills of South Dakota looking to confirm reports of gold. The author/photographer took dozens of pictures from the exact same spots the expedition's photographer took of the army. The over-forestation was stark.

Hopefully not many Sequoias were adversely affected.

FŽanor
10-28-2021, 09:32
Nothing spoils a scenic viewpoint like a bunch of trees - I say good riddance to the damned things!


�� ...I can see your point! been from Texas �� how could you possibly keep an eye on the cattle with all those trees!! Burn'em! �� ***!!! ��

slowdive
10-28-2021, 09:40
Nothing spoils a scenic viewpoint like a bunch of trees - I say good riddance to the damned things!

Well thats the thing, in the road leading into the park, where the trees will be cut down, the park service was nice enough to make these nice little pull offs on the side of the road to look at the "views". Unfortunately, the park service did not make them big enough. Most can hold a couple of cars, there's one that can hold a dozen or more but that doesn't stop people from squeezing in however they can and then attempt to back out is fun to watch. But on a serious note, they do have a forest management problem.

Alligator
10-28-2021, 09:57
Thank you Jonnycat. Most western forests are over forested by this point after a century of fire prevention and control. There was a great picture book documenting the centennial anniversary of George Custer's 1874? incursion of the Black Hills of South Dakota looking to confirm reports of gold. The author/photographer took dozens of pictures from the exact same spots the expedition's photographer took of the army. The over-forestation was stark.

Hopefully not many Sequoias were adversely affected.Not a particularly relevant argument given the distance from South Dakota from CA. Not many sequoias growing in SD.

Sequoia NP and Sequoia NF and monument already have forest management plans in place which include addressing the role of fire. Here is some information on the NP (https://www.nps.gov/seki/learn/nature/fuels_management.htm), and here is some for the NF and monument (https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/sequoia/landmanagement/?cid=STELPRDB5411629).

In the original article linked, the following note was placed:

For the record:
11:18 a.m. Oct. 25, 2021: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that up to 10,000 sequoia trees would need to be removed. That figure, however, represents all hazard trees that must be removed, not only sequoias. Therefore, I will amend the thread title.

BlackCloud
10-29-2021, 09:58
First, the vast majority of trees in Sequoia Kings Canyon National Parks are NOT Sequoia trees. The issue is not the species of trees but the way the land is managed, as all tree species burn.

The USFS forest management plan was released in 2011, 101 years after the Big Burn of 1910 which launched the USFS's self-interested attack on forest fires. The USFS used that catastrophic event to build itself up into this national firefighting behemoth. Firefighting is either 40 or 60% of the entire USFS budget. It was the Yellowstone fires of 1988 that shined a public spotlight on this malfeasance and which initiated the change; but it was too late. Prior to the 1990s, the USFS's philosophy of fighting all fires as aggressively as possible was identical in SD as it was in CA, so I'm right on point.

Finally, this is an aspirational document. Land management agencies create plans all the time. Most of the time they fall short for a variety of reasons like declining budgets, staffing, changing priorities or just plain incompetence.

The idea that you would point to a government plan as proof of good stewardship instead of examining photographs is borderline Orwellian.

TexasBob
10-29-2021, 11:03
Not a particularly relevant argument given the distance from South Dakota from CA. Not many sequoias growing in SD. ........

He is right that fire suppression in a forest results in a forest with a much higher number of trees per acre with more understory and dead wood on the ground which often results in a more intense and destructive fire when the forest does burn.

Alligator
10-29-2021, 23:02
First, the vast majority of trees in Sequoia Kings Canyon National Parks are NOT Sequoia trees. The issue is not the species of trees but the way the land is managed, as all tree species burn.

The USFS forest management plan was released in 2011, 101 years after the Big Burn of 1910 which launched the USFS's self-interested attack on forest fires. The USFS used that catastrophic event to build itself up into this national firefighting behemoth. Firefighting is either 40 or 60% of the entire USFS budget. It was the Yellowstone fires of 1988 that shined a public spotlight on this malfeasance and which initiated the change; but it was too late. Prior to the 1990s, the USFS's philosophy of fighting all fires as aggressively as possible was identical in SD as it was in CA, so I'm right on point.

Finally, this is an aspirational document. Land management agencies create plans all the time. Most of the time they fall short for a variety of reasons like declining budgets, staffing, changing priorities or just plain incompetence.

The idea that you would point to a government plan as proof of good stewardship instead of examining photographs is borderline Orwellian.I like how you completely skipped over the point that you were using pictures from SD to criticize a hazard tree removal in CA. Nice strawman argument about the species composition, all I said was there are no sequoias in SD. I will say there is a world of difference in the forest types including the complete lack of sequoia trees. On top of which, there are disturbance patterns in forests that make it important to understand at which stage of growth a particular forest is at. Plus the soils and the local climate are different. Now if you had a clue about any of that you wouldn't have painted with your broad brush so don't. Western forest fires do have a periodicity much greater than eastern forests, which is also very general but said to emphasize that you made no consideration as to why there may have or may not have been forests in the SD pictures you are referencing. What was the stand history at those points? Unlikely to know much at all about it. You have an incredible anti-government bias, which I see from you constantly anytime anyone mentions the government. Put your brush down once in a while.

Is it 40 or 60 because honestly that's just a really inaccurate range for budget percentages. Yeah like it's 50 or 75% or something. Maybe 25? Guess what since you're guessing, the public expects the FS to fight fires, so Congress appropriates money for it and the president directs that they spend it. It's a very backward situation at times really because people build structures in dangerous places making the solution to the problem expensive (think New Orleans) instead of giving better consideration to the environment. Not much thought has been given in the past to the urban-wildland interface which also keeps expanding year by year.

The philosophy was that forest fires were destructive and needed to be put out. Which did happen for decades even. The public was concerned with wildfires, the public is still concerned about wildfires. But 1990 is calling and wants you to know that it was 31 years ago and a lot of changes have been made in the way that fires are fought, including many times letting them burn in areas where people and structures aren't threatened. Fires tend to be left to burn in wilderness areas. There are more than likely fires burning at the moment even that are simply monitored. Happens every year. It is going to take a long time to reverse all the effects of decades of fire suppression but your assertion that nothing is being done is complete and utter BS. It's been understood for a couple decades that full suppression isn't the approach. There are more and more prescribed burns as well, which reduce fuel loads in a controlled manner as well as creating new habitat for early successional species. Is fire perfectly managed? No, but it is managed a lot differently than you describe it and has been for many years now. There is a large body of evidence out there but you refuse to see it. It's available publicly by law. But I know how anti-government you are, I'm not going to waste my time detailing it for you, it won't matter.

Alligator
10-29-2021, 23:29
He is right that fire suppression in a forest results in a forest with a much higher number of trees per acre with more understory and dead wood on the ground which often results in a more intense and destructive fire when the forest does burn.Thanks TexasBob. I'm familiar with the subject.

For instance, your statement is very generalized. Fires come in different varieties. It's not completely given that you will end up with more trees per acre. You have to place the fire in the context of the forest you are discussing. If fires are infrequent periodically and small in nature, limited say to ground fires, the natural mortality of trees that results from tree competition may simply supersede the infrequent mortality that occurs with such small fires. In some places fire is just a minor component of forest disturbance. Maybe periodic insect infestations are the major driver of mortality and losing a couple of small trees per acre to a ground fire isn't much of a dent to trees per acre.

Another example is that some trees are fire adapted with one adaption being their bark thick gets so thick that they are much more resistant to periodic fires, typically old trees. This is not to say they won't burn but merely to note that if the fire frequency was lessened somewhat it might possibly show little effect. It's just not all so cut and dry as some pictures without much context applied to somewhere else.