Wildfires are an awe-inspiring natural phenomenon that have shaped North America’s landscapes since the dawn of time. They are a force that we cannot really control, and thus understanding, appreciating, and learning to live with wildfire is ultimately our wisest public policy. With more than 150 dramatic photographs, Wildfire: A Century of Failed Forest Policy covers the topic of wildfire from ecological, economic, and social/political perspectives while also documenting how past forest policies have hindered ...
Wildfires are an awe-inspiring natural phenomenon that have shaped North America’s landscapes since the dawn of time. They are a force that we cannot really control, and thus understanding, appreciating, and learning to live with wildfire is ultimately our wisest public policy. With more than 150 dramatic photographs, Wildfire: A Century of Failed Forest Policy covers the topic of wildfire from ecological, economic, and social/political perspectives while also documenting how past forest policies have hindered natural processes, creating a tinderbox of problems that we are faced with today. More than 25 leading thinkers in the field of fire ecology provide in-depth analyses, critiques, and compelling solutions for how we live with fire in our society. Using examples such as the epic Yellowstone fires of 1988, the ever-present southern California fires, and the Northwest’s Biscuit Fire of 2002, the book examines the ecology of these landscapes and the policies and practices that affected them and continue to affect them, such as fire suppression, prescribed burns, salvage logging, and land-use planning. Overall, the book aims to promote the restoration of fire to the landscape and to encourage its natural behavior so it can resume its role as a major ecological process.
George Wuerthner is a professional photographer and the author of more than two dozen books on natural history and other environmental topics, including Wildfire: A Century of Failed Forest Policy (Island Press 2006). He is the co-author of Welfare Ranching: The Subsidized Destruction of the American West (Island Press 2002).
PART II. Wildfire: Perspectives and Visions
Introduction: Humans and Fire
The Fire of Life: Thinking About the Biological Basis for Fire \ Stephen J. Pyne, Ph.D.
A Spiral Dance: The Necessity of Fire to Wildness \ Mollie Matteson
Fire and Native Peoples: A Natural or Humanized Landscape? \ Thomas R. Vale, Ph.D.
Coyote Wildfire: Evolving Firefighters into Fire Guiders \ Joe Fox, Ph.D.
Incendiary Language: How Words Affect Perception
Hot News: Media Coverage of Wildfire \ Conrad Smith, Ph.D.
Don’t Get Hosed: How Political Framing Influences Fire Policy \ Les AuCoin
Lifetimes with Fire: A Place in the Wildland Interface \ Gary Snyder
PART III. Fire Ecology: Stories and Studies
Introduction: Fire-Adapted Landscapes
The Yellowstone Fires of 1988: A Living Wilderness \ George Wuerthner
Fire Ecology of the Sierra Nevada: Forests Born to Burn \ Jan W. van Wagtendonk
Wildfire Management on a Human-Dominated Landscape: California Chaparral Wildfires \ Jon E. Keeley, PhD. and C. J. Fotheringham
Fire in the Klamath-Siskiyou Ecoregion: Protecting and Restoring the Fire Mosaic \ Dominick A. DellaSala, Ph.D.
Fire in the Southwest: A Historical Context \ Tom Ribe
Fire in the East: Welcoming Back a Native Son \ George Wuerthner
PART IV. (Un)Healthy Forest Policy: Suppression, Salvage, and Scurrilous Solutions
Introduction: Vested Interests as Purveyors of Forest Health
Logging and Wildfire: Ecological Differences and the Need to Preserve Large Fires \ George Wuerthner
After the Smoke Clears: Ecological Impacts of Salvage Logging \ James R. Strittholt, Ph.D.
Conventional Salvage Logging: The Loss of Ecological Reason and Economic Restraint \ Chris Maser
Pyro Cows: The Role of Livestock Grazing in Worsening Fire Severity \ George Wuerthner
PART V. The New Gravy Train: The Emergence of the Fire-Military-Industrial Complex
Introduction: The Flawed Economics of Fire Suppression
Avoiding a New “Conspiracy of Optimism”: The Economics of 224 Forest Fuel Reduction Strategies \ Thomas Michael Power, Ph.D.
Money to Burn: Wildfire and the Budget \ Randal O'Toole
The War on Wildfire: Firefighting and the Militarization of Forest Fire Management \ Timothy Ingalsbee, Ph.D.
PART VI. Eliminating the Smokescreen: Toward an Intelligent Fire Policy
Introduction: Learning to Live with Fire-Dependent Ecosystems \ Timothy Ingalsbee, Ph.D.
Keep the Greenfire Burning: Deep Ecology \ Crystal Stanionis and Dennis Glick
Sprawling Into Disaster: The Growing Impact of Rural Residential Development on Wildland Fire Management in the Greater Yellowstone Area
Burning Down the House: The Role of Disaster Aid in Subsidizing Catastrophe \ John Krist
The Community Protection Zone: Defending Homes and Communities from the Threat of Forest Fire \ Brian Nowicki and Tod Schulke
PART VII. Time to Retire Smokey Bear
The Ultimate Firefight: Changing Hearts and Minds \ Andy Kerr
Smokey the Bear Sutra
A Glossary of Euphemisms and Spin
A Glossary of Wildland Fire Terms