US Fire History

US Fire History - US Fire History US Fire History FNR 308...

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Unformatted text preview: US Fire History US Fire History FNR 308 Valerie Loe July 8, 2008 American American Reclamation Reclamation Converted wildlands to agriculture Used a lot of fire initially Began sedentary agricultural practices Rather than….what? Quickly changed… Plants Animals Fire regimes Everything…humans’ relationship with the land Environmental Worldview: Frontier Era Environmental Worldview: Frontier Era Frontier environmental worldview: continent has vast and inexhaustible natural resources in a hostile wilderness to be tamed for people’s use Still in our Western sensibility? Early fire control Early fire control No harm, no foul No harm, no foul Conflagrations often occurred but temporary Conflagrations often occurred but temporary phenomenon phenomenon Concerned only when threatened own land Concerned only when threatened own land Belief that settlement would eliminate wildfire Belief that settlement would eliminate wildfire After all, that’s what happened in Europe, right? After all, that’s what happened in Europe, right? However… However… Conversion incomplete Conversion incomplete The continent is so huge The continent is so huge Counterreclamation Counterreclamation As the West was opened & the world industrial revolution grew... Ag land reverts to wildland People either moved West or into cities Farms abandoned Some made public lands Abandoned lands reforested Put into different uses Demanded new fire practices Demanded control Meanwhile…in US day-to-day life Meanwhile…in US day-to-day life After years of tension between the wealthy north and agricultural south… The American Civil War: 1861-65 Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 Then Reconstruction began 970,000 casualties (including 620,000 soldier deaths) The American Civil War The American Civil War First models of fire control First models of fire control Adirondack Forest Preserve (1885) Adapted model of existing rural fire wardens to unsettled lands U.S. Army in Yellowstone (1886) At “war” with fire Private timber groups (~20 years later) Vast public forest reserves created in 1891 What to do… National System National System National Academy of Sciences (1896) Recommends Army control forest reserves Transfer Act (1905) Lands managed by Bureau of Forestry Renamed U.S. Forest Service Shifted focus from recreation to science Gifford Pinchot “Like the question of slavery, the question of forest fires may be shelved for some time, at enormous cost in the end, but sooner or later, it must be met.” Beginning of modern fire control on national level National Power by Forest Service National Power by Forest Service Controlled national forest lands Some 63 million acres in 1905 Coordinated with Other federal agencies States Industry Intellectual base...
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This note was uploaded on 02/24/2009 for the course FNR 308 taught by Professor Brassey&loe during the Summer '08 term at Cal Poly.

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US Fire History - US Fire History US Fire History FNR 308...

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