The Rim Fire one year later: a natural experiment in fire ecology and management
Aug05

The Rim Fire one year later: a natural experiment in fire ecology and management

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.

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The control of nature: stewardship of fire ecology by native Californian cultures
Jul29

The control of nature: stewardship of fire ecology by native Californian cultures

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.

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Sequestration impacts national park summer destinations
Jun03

Sequestration impacts national park summer destinations

By Terence Houston, ESA Science Policy Analyst Planning a summer visit to a US national park this summer? The parks will be open, but the overall quality of the trip may be somewhat lessened due to the ongoing budget sequestration which went into effect March 1. Since then, Congress has legislatively decreased the burden for some federal programs whose responsibilities hit close to home. After Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom...

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Changing climate, changing landscape: monitoring the vast wilderness of interior Alaska
Mar28

Changing climate, changing landscape: monitoring the vast wilderness of interior Alaska

First ten-years of data from an ongoing monitoring effort sets a baseline for modeling and forestry management in Denali National Park and Preserve — listen to the Field Talk podcast with park service ecologist Carl Roland.

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ESA voices concern over US fiscal situation

On March 1, a series of automatic spending cuts are set to occur unless Congress produces a plan that reduces the federal deficit by $1.2 trillion. These cuts will drastically scale back federal support of scientific research, environmental protections and education and do nothing substantive to address the nation’s fiscal problems. “Scientific research reaches across a broad cross section of society that goes well beyond academia,”...

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ESA Policy News: November 9

Here are some highlights from the latest ESA Policy News by Science Policy Analyst Terence Houston.  Read the full Policy News here. 2012 ELECTION: RESULTS PRODUCE SAME PLAYERS, ADDED POLARIZATION The 2012 elections resulted in the continuation of a divided government with both parties more or less playing with the same hand they held before the election. President Obama remains in the White House, Democratic Senate Majority Leader...

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Near record-breaking droughts, wildfires could advance climate change dialogue

This post contributed by Terence Houston, Science Policy Analyst New reports continue to suggest that rising temperatures are coinciding with near record-breaking numbers of droughts and wildfires across the United States. Taken collectively, the evidence lends to the notion that climate change is having serious impacts on human society. The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the leader in providing US weather...

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The American alligator and its importance to the Florida Everglades

This post contributed by Terence Houston, ESA Science Policy Analyst Critics of the Endangered Species Act have sought to brand it as unsuccessful saying that only one percent of species listed have fully recovered and been delisted since it was first enacted. In response, the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) released a report entitled “On Time, On Target: How the Endangered Species Act Is Saving America’s Wildlife,” documenting...

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