Wildfires are a fact of life in the American west. They have played a major role in our western ecosystems for millenia. But as the climate crisis deepens, and more people move into wildfire country, fires loom larger and larger in the public consciousness. Wildfires are reshaping everything from our landscapes to our politics, and the implications of how we respond to them will play a huge role in shaping our future.
In the midst of this, a scientific debate is raging over what the science tells us about how to protect communities and live with fire. At the heart of that debate is the Forest Service. As the manager of almost 200 million acres of land, there is a tremendous amount at stake in how the US Forest Service interprets that science and implements management policy.
So I’m excited to be joined by one of the authors of a new scientific paper alleging that the forest service has been falsifying the scientific record around wildfires in order to justify more logging on federal lands.
Chad Hanson is the director and principal ecologist for the California based John Muir Project, which he co-founded in the 90s.
Countering Omitted Evidence of Variable Historical Forests and Fire Regime in Western USA Dry Forests: The Low-Severity-Fire Model Rejected
Chad's book, Smokescreen: https://www.kentuckypress.com/9780813181073/smokescreen/
Protect Mature and Old Growth Forests on Federal Land: https://www.climate-forests.org/take-action
Protect Oregon's State Forests: https://coastrange.org/stateforests/