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View Diary: The retreat away from the US coastline is beginning (243 comments)

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  •  Wildfires are natural and necessary (15+ / 0-)

    The oak savannas in the midwest are almost gone, and many species threatened, because we have supressed fire.  When wildfires don't happen regularly, that is when the forests and grasslands become choked with short lived crappy trees and weeds.  Then, when a fire does occur, it has the fuel to become a massive wildfire.

    When oak woodlands are managed properly, excess growth is removed, creating room for new oak trees and lessoning the fire danger.  When fire is returned to forests on a prescribed basis, grassland and woodland fuel is burned off in a low intenisty burn that doesn't harm the trees and reinvigorates the soil.  

    The native plants of the oak savanna are also very drought tollerant.  They evolved with drought.  Droughts are why the midwest has prairie instead of forests.

    The problem is that the midwest of North America has been managed like it's Europe instead of working with the ecosystem.

    Life in the midwest means living with fire and drought.  There's no escaping it, they are essential aspects of the environment.  A healthy oak savanna presents no uncontrolled wildfire danger.

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