Friday, June 20. 2008
wildbird in Native/Non-native Issues
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Sunday, June 15. 2008
The large wildfires that we've been having present both a direct and an indirect threat to the native chaparral ecosystems of southern California. The direct threat is of "type conversion" - when healthy chaparral is replaced by weeds and grasses. The indirect threat is that these huge fires scare people into doing foolish things such as clearing or "prescribed burns" in the wildlands.
We think that a county-wide fire department will be able to make faster and more effective use of our firefighting resources. This will reduce (but never eliminate) the number and extent of these large wildfires which will keep people safer and give them more peace of mind. A more cool-headed populace won't push the politicians into doing stupid things and that will be good for the chaparral.
It should be a no-brainer but naturally, like all things in southern California, there is contention about forming a county-wide fire department. The San Diego Board of Supervisors will be meeting at 9AM on June 25th to consider the consolidation of all rural fire districts into one county-wide entity. This is a good first step and it should be encouraged.
It will also be a good opportunity to voice your opposition to the board's plans (approved on May 14th) to burn large amounts of wild chaparral in the county in a misguided attempt to make us safer in the cities. This, of course, is a foolish act which will lead to much larger and faster moving wildfires in the weedlands which follow the fires. We need to keep pushing back against this plan. It's not over until the land is burned.
You can learn more about these issues at the San Diego Regional Fire Safety Forum website. They are an organization made up not of politicians and weed control companies, but of experienced firefighters and wildland experts who really know what they are talking about.
Thursday, June 5. 2008
The California Chaparral Institute publishes a quarterly newsletter titled "The Chaparallian". It's very good and this month's edition focuses on old-growth chaparral. Yes, there is old growth chaparral and it is as breathtaking as any old growth forest when you are inside of it. The Chaparralian is available only to members so go there and join up. (And ask for your own copy of number 26 when you do!) The Chaparral Institute and its leader, Rick Halsey, are the most active advocates for our chaparral ecosystems that I know of, so you will also be helping to save these remaining patches of old growth.
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