Tiger Mountain Peasant Song by The Fleet Foxes – Song of the Day

13Sep09

100_1264Bulve has been back in the bay area, hiking amidst the beautiful Redwoods and the Sequoias.  Hopefully not all of the Los Angeles forest has burned down so there will still be some wood-like hiking left in Southern California.

Damn fires.  But it’s all natural, right?  Well, sort of…

FROM 60 MINUTES:

“It was 20 years ago that firefighters got their first glimpse of what was to come. In 1988, a third of Yellowstone National Park burned. Since then, fires have broken records in nine states. Several megafires, like one in Arizona, have burned over half a million acres each.

Why are there more of these fires? Turns out the Forest Service is partly to blame with a policy it started 100 years ago.

The policy was to put out all fires immediately. “Because we so successfully fought fire and eliminated fire from this ecosystem for a hundred years, because we thought that was the right thing to do, we’ve allowed a huge buildup of fuel in these woods. So now, when the fires get going, there’s a lot more to burn than historically you would’ve seen in a forest like this,” Boatner explains.

“Is it possible that we’re gonna get to the point where we have these mega-fires and we just can’t fight them because they’re too large?” Pelley asks.

“Well, we’re there already. We have identified numerous fires this summer that we know we can’t put out with the resources we have available. Because of the severity of the burning conditions and the size of the fires,” Boatner explains.100_1265

At the University of Arizona, Swetnam keeps a remarkable woodpile, comprised of the largest collection of tree rings in the world. His rings go back 9,000 years, and each one of those rings captures one year of climate history.

Swetnam found recent decades have been the hottest in at least 1,000 years. And recently, he and a team of top climate scientists discovered something else: a dramatic increase in fires high in the mountains, where fires were rare.

“As the spring is arriving earlier because of warming conditions, the snow on these high mountain areas is melting and running off. So the logs and the branches and the tree needles all can dry out more quickly and have a longer time period to be dry. And so there’s a longer time period and opportunity for fires to start,” Swetnam says.”

“Asked how much things have changed, Swetnam tells Pelley, “Well, we’re seeing century-old forests that had never sustained these kinds of fires before, being razed to the ground.”

“We used to have forest soil here that might have been this deep,” he says, indicating about a foot of depth, “but now we’re just down to rock.”

“So you’re down to mineral and sort of a rock, sort of armored soil. And that is not a good habitat for trees to re-establish,” Swetnam says.”

“As fires continue to burn, these megafires continue to burn, we may see ultimately a majority, maybe more than half of the forest land converting to other forest, other types of ecosystems,” Swetnam says.”

Ugh.  Like the desert or something like that?  This doesn’t help my misanthropy blues…

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One Response to “Tiger Mountain Peasant Song by The Fleet Foxes – Song of the Day”

  1. Thank you for posting this great track.


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