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Why are Wildfires More Intense?
by outdoorwire. 09/26/18 05:00 PM
Forest Service Statistica and Trends
by outdoorwire. 09/25/18 05:43 PM
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Climate Change
10/13/18 12:00 PM
The researchers at CO2 Science recently summarized a 2017 study in the journal Climate that indicates across geologic history, the level of atmospheric carbon dioxide has had no relation to temperature or climate conditions.

The study’s author, W. Jackson Davis, Ph.D., executive director of the Environmental Studies Institute, analyzed a comprehensive assemblage of empirical databases consisting of 6,680 proxy temperature and 831 proxy carbon dioxide measurements to examine the relationship between historic temperature and atmospheric carbon dioxide from 522 million years before present (Mybp) to now. Davis says his data assemblage is “the most accurate quantitative empirical evaluation to date of the relationship between atmospheric CO2 concentration and temperature.”
Davis found neither a causal association nor a correlation between carbon dioxide levels temperatures over millions of years.

“For example, Davis reports, (1) ‘a carbon dioxide concentration peak near 415 My[bp] occurs near a temperature trough at 445 Mybp,’ (2) ‘similarly, carbon dioxide concentration peaks around 285 Mybp coincide with a temperature trough at about 280 My[bp] ....’” Ultimately, Davis concludes “more than 95 percent of the variance in temperature [across millions of years] is explained by unidentified variables other than the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide,” which Davis writes, “corroborate the earlier conclusion based on study of the Paleozoic climate that ‘global climate may be independent of variations in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration,’” the summary reports.

Davis concludes although “correlation does not imply causality, but the absence of correlation proves conclusively the absence of causality.”

Source: CO2 Science; Climate
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Federal Legislation
10/08/18 04:23 PM
A bill to provide for conservation, enhanced recreation opportunities, and development of renewable energy in the California Desert Conservation Area, and for other purposes.

Introduced: Jan 5, 2017
Status: Ordered Reported on Oct 2, 2018

The committees assigned to this bill sent it to the House or Senate as a whole for consideration on October 2, 2018.

History: Bills and resolutions are referred to committees which debate the bill before possibly sending it on to the whole chamber.

Read Text » https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/s32/text

Jul 26, 2017: Considered by Public Lands, Forests, and Mining - A committee held a hearing or business meeting about the bill.

Oct 2, 2018: Ordered Reported - A committee has voted to issue a report to the full chamber recommending that the bill be considered further. Only about 1 in 4 bills are reported out of committee.
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Federal Legislation
10/02/18 02:49 PM
S. 3515: A bill to provide mandatory funding to the Secretary of Agriculture to carry out hazardous fuels reduction projects on National Forest System land, and for other purposes.

Introduced:

Sep 26, 2018
Status:

Introduced on Sep 26, 2018

This bill is in the first stage of the legislative process. It was introduced into Congress on September 26, 2018. It will typically be considered by committee next before it is possibly sent on to the House or Senate as a whole.


Source: GovTrack
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Federal Legislation
10/02/18 02:40 PM
S. 3499: A bill to provide grants for projects to acquire land and water for parks and other outdoor recreation purposes and to develop new or renovate existing outdoor recreation facilities.

Introduced:

Sep 25, 2018
Status:

Introduced on Sep 25, 2018

This bill is in the first stage of the legislative process. It was introduced into Congress on September 25, 2018. It will typically be considered by committee next before it is possibly sent on to the House or Senate as a whole.

Proposed bill text is available at GovTrack
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Access Roundtable
09/26/18 05:00 PM
Consequences of an Endless Summer: Untangling the Link Between Summer Precipitation and Western Wildfires

It's not solely an ignition event, whether a lightning strike or unattended campfire, that causes a wildfire. Fire ecology research over the past three decades has revealed that environmental drivers, such as snow pack, fuels availability, and temperature, also play a role. In particular, warming temperatures are implicated in the increasing number and intensity of wildfires occurring across the western United States. They cause earlier melting of the winter snowpack, resulting in longer fire seasons, and hotter summer temperatures that more thoroughly dry out vegetation and make it more likely to catch fire when ignited.

However, U.S. Forest Service scientists suspected another weather factor was being overlooked as a contributor to recent trends in wildfire: precipitation, specifically summer precipitation. Zachary Holden, an ecologist with the USFS Northern Region, Charles Luce, a research hydrologist, and Matt Jolly, a research ecologist, both with the Rocky Mountain Research Station anecdotally noticed low summer precipitation was associated with the 1988 Yellowstone fire and the major wildfire season of 2017 in the Pacific Northwest.

It intuitively makes sense why. "Summer dry periods are tightly coupled to how warm and dry the air is during the fire season," Holden said. "Longer windows without rain lead to more surface heating, which dries out woody fuels."....
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Socio-Ecomonics
09/26/18 04:56 PM
Abstract: The flow of ecosystem services derived from forests and grasslands in the Southwestern United States may change in the future. People and communities may be vulnerable if they are exposed, are sensitive, and have limited ability to adapt to ecological changes. Geospatial descriptions of ecosystem services, projected climate-related ecological changes, and socioeconomic conditions are used to assess socioeconomic vulnerability to changes in the provision of ecosystem services by national forests and grasslands in the Southwest. Vulnerability is uneven in the Southwest due to varying projected effects of climate on forest ecosystem services, and different levels of exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity of people in the region.

READ MORE AND PDF>>

Citation: Hand, Michael S.; Eichman, Henry; Triepke, F. Jack; Jaworski, Delilah. 2018. Socioeconomic vulnerability to ecological changes to national forests and grasslands in the Southwest. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-383. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 100 p.
RMRS-GTR-383 is only available online through Treesearch at https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/56851
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Socio-Ecomonics
09/25/18 05:43 PM
The below link contains a variety of Forest Service Statistics and Trends published by the Forest Service Southern Research Station.

http://www.4x4voice.com/Notebook/FS-Stats-Trends/index.html?1
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Socio-Ecomonics
09/25/18 05:41 PM
The below links contains a number of economic impact studies referencing recreation and wildlife.

http://www.muirnet.net/Notebook/economic-impact/index.html?1
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Access Roundtable
09/25/18 02:13 PM
On September 10th, 2018, shortly before the Global Climate Action Summit kicked off in San Francisco, Governor Brown signed Senate Bill (SB) 100,The 100 Percent Clean Energy Act of 2018. The bill received much attention for its two ambitious mandates: (1) accelerating the pace at which California’s investor-owned and publicly-owned electricity providers must achieve renewable portfolio standards (RPS) goals; and (2) establishing a state policy to provide 100% clean energy by December 31, 2045. Governor Brown also signed Executive Order (EO) B-55-18 to Achieve Carbon Neutrality on the same day SB 100 was signed.

This article summarizes SB 100 and the accompanying EO, and highlights land use and California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) implications of California’s new 100% clean energy policy.

Most notably, SB 100 establishes that 100% of all electricity in California must be obtained from renewable and zero-carbon energy resources by December 31, 2045 – without increasing emissions elsewhere in the western grid. The bill was praised for its flexibility and anticipation of new technological advances that will help agencies and energy providers meet this ambitious target. The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), the California Energy Commission (CEC), the California Air Resources Board (CARB), and all other state agencies are charged with incorporating the zero-carbon mandate of SB 100 into relevant planning. Additionally, the CPUC, CEC, and CARB must report on implementation to the legislature by January 1, 2021 and every four years thereafter. Implementation of SB 100 will entail lively public comment processes involving input from diverse stakeholders including energy companies, consumers, environmental advocacy groups, and others.

SB 100 also creates new standards for the RPS goals established by SB 350 in 2015. Specifically, the bill increases required energy from renewable sources for both investor-owned utilities and publicly-owned utilities from 50% to 60% by 2030. Incrementally, these energy providers must also have a renewable energy supply of 33% by 2020, 44% by 2024, and 52% by 2027. The updated RPS goals are considered achievable, since many California energy providers are already meeting or exceeding the RPS goals established by SB 350.

With full implementation of SB 100 by the end of 2045, clean energy will account for 100% of the electricity in the California grid. At least 60% will be provided through renewable energy resources such as wind and solar. The remaining 40% will be provided through a combination of renewable and zero-carbon sources, which are anticipated to include recognized methods like energy storage, as well as new technologies that are yet unknown.

Acknowledging that the energy sector only accounts for about 16 % of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions and explicitly recognizing that “climate change is causing historic droughts, devastating wildfires, torrential storms, extreme heat, the death of millions of trees, billions of dollars in property damage, and threats to human health and food supplies,” and that California’s natural resources “tragically are suffering increasing degradation caused by changing climate,” Governor Brown also signed EO B-55-18 on September 10, 2018. Although not legally enforceable in the same manner as SB 100, the EO establishes a new statewide policy to achieve carbon neutrality (i.e., the point at which removal of carbon pollution from the atmosphere meets or exceeds emissions) no later than 2045, and to achieve and maintain net negative greenhouse gas emissions thereafter. The EO calls on CARB to address this goal in future Scoping Plans, which affect other major sectors of California’s economy, including transportation, agriculture, development, industrial, and others.

There are several land use and CEQA implications of SB 100 and EO B-55-18. Meeting the aggressive goals of SB 100 and EO B-55-18 will require development of significantly more solar, wind, and other carbon neutral energy projects, as well as new technologies to provide and improve energy storage. Since it is unclear that California could reach these targets with solar, wind, and energy storage technology, it raises the contentious issue of new nuclear and hydroelectric power, likely generated outside of California. Even the development of new renewable energy facilities can be controversial because of impacts to agricultural, biological, cultural and other resources. Local and resource agency permitting and CEQA review for these projects takes decades. Thus, while the deadline is many years away, stakeholders will need to act promptly to plan for and begin review of the facilities necessary to achieve these goals. CARB will also likely need to update the Scoping Plan, thus changing how CEQA documents analyze greenhouse gas emissions, energy, and air quality impacts.

Source: Lexology
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