Magazine
Scorched Earth
  • Digital Editions are available for our paid subscribers. Please login here.

  • If you wish to subscribe, click here.

December 11, 2017

In this issue we examine the West's relationship with fire after a difficult wildfire season. In the wildlands of California, we look at how fire is being used as its own management tool; we also look at the mounting impacts wildfire has on watersheds in the region and on public health in Montana. We break down why Congress hasn’t provided a fire-funding fix, and in an essay, a firefighter contemplates his own mortality.

Feature

What fire researchers learned from California’s blazes
What fire researchers learned from California’s blazes
In California, land managers use fire as a tool.
Ancestral Pueblo logging practices could save New Mexico pinelands
Ancestral Pueblo logging practices could save New Mexico pinelands
Researchers look to the past to better fight fire.

Current

Beset by drones; disappearing orcas; covering Indian Country
Proper fire funding continues to elude Congress
Proper fire funding continues to elude Congress
Nearly everyone agrees it’s important. So what’s the hold-up?
It’s not only trees — wildfires imperil water too
It’s not only trees — wildfires imperil water too
Sediment-choked watersheds and erosion could become more frequent as wildfire activity grows.
Oregonians experiment with a new model to prevent megafire
Oregonians experiment with a new model to prevent megafire
A collaborative community-based project tackles overgrown forests.
In a burning West, wildfire smoke threatens public health
In a burning West, wildfire smoke threatens public health
Montana hospitals handled an increase of respiratory-related problems this year.
Why Western wildfires are getting more expensive
Why Western wildfires are getting more expensive
This year’s fire season was the costliest on record, burning more than 9 million acres.

Editor's Note

We need a better social contract with wildfire
We need a better social contract with wildfire
The 2017 fire season has made it clear our current policies don’t work.

Essays

‘Will my tears cool the ash?’
‘Will my tears cool the ash?’
A firefighter contemplates the fire season.
A ‘selfish’ decision
A ‘selfish’ decision
As neighbors evacuated, one family stayed behind.

Book Reviews

The geography of the Southwest, painted and illuminated
The geography of the Southwest, painted and illuminated
An artist of Kiowa and Caddo descent blends traditional and modern styles.
Nothing about future fires is guaranteed
Nothing about future fires is guaranteed
Except that they will come.

Heard Around the West

Car-eating marmots; poacher ring bust-up; a Tofurky surprise
Car-eating marmots; poacher ring bust-up; a Tofurky surprise
Mishaps and mayhem from around the region.

Dear Friends

The season of celebrating begins, and a holiday party
The season of celebrating begins, and a holiday party
The staff enjoy a long holiday with feasts and adventure.

Letters

NewTowncarShare News Classifieds
  • Located on top of Sugarloaf Mtn. 5 mi W of downtown Colorado Springs, CO. $80,000.
  • The Draper Natural History Museum (DNHM) at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, WY, invites applications for Curator of Natural Science. Seeking...
  • in Southwest Colorado. $60K plus costs.
  • with six+ years of experience, broad knowledge of home and facilities maintenance. 207-805-4157, https://spark.adobe.com/page/8R7Ag/
  • Seeking full-time experienced farmer on 52-acre organic farm Union, OR. [email protected]
  • Western Resource Advocates (WRA) is seeking a Government Affairs Manager that is passionate about Western communities and the protection of the natural environment to support...
  • Metal roofing & siding, thru-fastened & seam profiles. Stronger, more attractive and longer lasting than any other panel on the market. 970-275-4070.
  • The Central Colorado Conservancy, a nationally accredited and state certified land trust, is seeking an innovative and dynamic Executive Director to guide the Conservancy into...
  • Forever Our Rivers Foundation seeks a driven and creative individual to lead this national movement for river health. Deadline 6/14/19.
  • We are looking for an experienced campaigner to lead our work challenging the oil and fracked gas industry, specifically focused on fighting fossil fuel expansion...
  • 7/12-7/14/19 in Taos, NM. With over 21 workshops and keynote speaker, poet Arthur Sze.
  • Badlands Conservation Alliance is seeking an Executive Director. For job description visit https://www.badlandsconservationalliance.org/hiring.
  • Everland Mountain Retreat includes 318 mountaintop acres with a 3,200 square foot lodge and two smaller homes. Endless vistas of the Appalachian mountains, open skies,...
  • Spectacular views of snowcapped Sierras. 15 miles from Kings Canyon/Sequoia Parks. 47 acres with 2 homes/75' pool/gym/patios/gardens. 1670 sq.ft. main home has 3 bdrm/1 bath....
  • Beautiful off-the-grid passive solar near the CDT. 9.4 acres, north of Silver City. Sam, 575.388.1921
  • at RCAC. See the full description at https://bit.ly/2WJ3HvY Apply at [email protected]
  • Newly refurbished and tuned. Older model, great condition. Gasoline engine. Chains on tires. Heavy duty for mountain snow. Call cellphone and leave message or email.
  • Camping, hiking, backpacking, R2R2R, Tarahumara Easter, Mushroom Festival, www.coppercanyontrails.org.
  • Clean off, cool off & drink. Multiple spray patterns. Better than you imagine. Try it.
  • Actively introduce students to Experiential Education, Outdoor Recreation, and Sustainability while engaging and challenging them to learn and participate in these diverse opportunities. Room, board,...