September 3, 2013
Could the Yosemite Rim Fire Be Ecologically Beneficial?

For nearly two weeks, the nation has been transfixed by wildfire spreading through Yosemite National Park, threatening to pollute San Francisco’s water supply and destroy some of America’s most cherished landscapes. As terrible as the Rim Fire seems, though, the question of its long-term effects, and whether in some ways it could actually be ecologically beneficial, is a complicated one.
Some parts of Yosemite may be radically altered, entering entire new ecological states. Yet others may be restored to historical conditions that prevailed for thousands of years from the last Ice Age’s end until the 19th century, when short-sighted fire management disrupted natural fire cycles and transformed the landscape.
Read more. [Image: NASA Earth Observatory]

Could the Yosemite Rim Fire Be Ecologically Beneficial?

For nearly two weeks, the nation has been transfixed by wildfire spreading through Yosemite National Park, threatening to pollute San Francisco’s water supply and destroy some of America’s most cherished landscapes. As terrible as the Rim Fire seems, though, the question of its long-term effects, and whether in some ways it could actually be ecologically beneficial, is a complicated one.

Some parts of Yosemite may be radically altered, entering entire new ecological states. Yet others may be restored to historical conditions that prevailed for thousands of years from the last Ice Age’s end until the 19th century, when short-sighted fire management disrupted natural fire cycles and transformed the landscape.

Read more. [Image: NASA Earth Observatory]

  1. tacosatmidnight reblogged this from livetheoutdoors and added:
    I’m glad there are still a few people who understand the important role fire has in ecosystems. As I wildland...
  2. livetheoutdoors reblogged this from wantstobeinthewilderness
  3. wantstobeinthewilderness reblogged this from theatlantic and added:
    Because forestfires are a necessary part of healthy ecosystems.
  4. bluemoonofkentucky reblogged this from the-skriker
  5. the-skriker reblogged this from thecountryfucker
  6. hardison007 reblogged this from whatcaitysays
  7. daisyunderthestars reblogged this from whatcaitysays and added:
    I remember when I was in elementary school for busy work they’d give us articles to read and once it was how forest...
  8. whatcaitysays reblogged this from theatlantic
  9. the-electric-boogaloo reblogged this from theatlantic
  10. hollars reblogged this from theatlantic
  11. dacrify reblogged this from theatlantic
  12. shipsandsealinggwax reblogged this from symbiosis and added:
    When I first heard about this forest fire I thought “maybe, instead of fighting the fire, we evacuate and let nature do...
  13. symbiosis reblogged this from theatlantic
  14. g-m-p-m reblogged this from theatlantic
  15. xnick41m reblogged this from theatlantic
  16. thelittlerugshop reblogged this from theatlantic
  17. lafrondeuse reblogged this from theatlantic
  18. nuradalias reblogged this from theatlantic and added:
    i definitely take for granted not having the need to spontaneously combust if i want to change my outfit
  19. anteco reblogged this from theatlantic
  20. jryork reblogged this from theatlantic