Another fine guest post from Holly Menninger and the ESA2014 EcoCommCrew: Adorable and fuzzy, American pikas have become the spokes-critter for the consequences of climate change in alpine areas. Pika sketch by biological illustrator, Jennifer Landin.
The enormous conflagration known as the Rim Fire was in full fury, raging swiftly from crown to crown among mature trees, when it entered the backcountry of Yosemite National Park in California’s Sierra Nevada in late August 2013. But inside the park, the battle began to turn, enacting a case study in the way management decisions and drought can combine to fuel large, severe fires.
Before the colonial era, 100,000s of people lived on the land now called California, and many of their cultures manipulated fire to control the availability of plants they used for food, fuel, tools, and ritual. Contemporary tribes continue to use fire to maintain desired habitat and natural resources.