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Old 11-25-2011, 11:28 AM
1,742 posts, read 2,628,549 times
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Dang, now we have the ips beatle.
Ips Beetles Are Attacking Colorado
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Old 11-28-2011, 03:32 PM
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Wink Spruce & all else

An apt mention of the Ips beetle and spruce trees.

This has been touched on in other threads devoted to the mountain pine beetle, at least in passing. Actually, more than in passing, as I'm fairly sure myself and others have mentioned that the MPB is hardly the only threat to Colorado's forests.

What allows any of these bugs, diseases, etc. to affect as many trees is our rapidly changing climate. The case of the MPB is classic, with a small insect otherwise entirely natural to this region so widely proliferating due trees stressed due warming temperatures and often less precipitation. The same applies to spruce, and indeed all vegetation which must try and adapt, some more successfully than others. No one knows exactly why thus far, but the sudden decline of aspen in various areas of the state are surely symptomatic.

What is occurring in Rocky Mountain National Park is wrong on several levels. In part tragedy that so much of its forest has already been affected, not helped in the least by Park policy of cutting down live trees. But for anyone with the least sentience what is happening there should serve as a red flag warning. When our most treasured places are under assault the obvious question should be why. Staff at RMNP should provide any visitor inquiring with a clear picture of what is transpiring, and all the reference to data they may want. However the more likely response is PC equivocation. Our National Park Service should be in the vanguard of such a fight, instead of at times part of the problem.

Be that as it may, one need not travel to the arctic to see what is going on. That which should concern us all may be as close as a dead spruce tree in your yard.
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Old 01-16-2012, 06:52 PM
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Wink Grim sightseeing

For what it is worth, now would be a fine time to personally witness some of the damage Superintendent Vaughn Baker has done to RMNP.

Not to entirely gang up on him, as the National Park Service, and its masters in Washington, D.C. are also culpable, but he surely has his hands all over this. Specifically, in the cutting down of many trees in RMNP, a good many of them otherwise perfectly healthy and alive.

A good deal of this destruction could have been witnessed along US 34 on the west side of the Park this summer, taking the form of now absent trees piled into many large tepee slash piles. But the same sad effect can now be witnessed on the accessible east side of the Park as well; although these 'tepees' may be burned before the advent of summer. At the moment many of them can be seen in places bordering the road to Bear Lake. Or, even more accessibly, in driving the short loop through the Park between the main entrance and the north entrance. If from the main entrance, the area where many of these 'tepees' will be visible on both sides of the road will be from the 'T' of Deer Ridge Junction, then downhill until entering the flat of West Horseshoe Park at Endo Valley.

The given rationale for much of this is that as beetle-killed trees they must be removed for safety, in order to keep them from falling across the road. If a certain truth in some of this, it should also be noted that there is no way of knowing in advance which particular trees will fall in an untimely manner. Witness the recent high winds of this autumn which unfortunately downed a number of trees along the front range. More than a few with their very roots torn as a whole from the ground, but also these very same trees green and alive until that. Yet in some cases right beside them trees dead for some time which remained unaffected by the winds. There is no way of knowing which individual trees may be affected, whether alive or dead.

Still, as surely but a matter of a relatively few years until falling if dead, then maybe such trees might be carefully removed from potentially dangerous locations near roads or campgrounds. Although, as noted, no guarantees in this unless one is willing to clear cut on either side of a road to the average length of a tree. Which is exactly what RMNP has essentially done in places (clear cuts, or nearly so, primarily evident towards Bear Lake, or west side of Park). Moreover, not discriminating between live and dead trees, but cutting them all down. Look at their slash pile 'tepees' and you will see many green boughs interspersed within. In other places, yet removed, perfectly healthy trees of several feet in diameter cut to lie fallen on the ground.

If wishing some smaller indication of what is afoot, then inspect the smaller pine trees bordering the south side of the road, not far within the north entrance of the Park. Many of their lower limbs facing the road have been hacked off. Granted, some of them, in time, might have reached as far as the pavement, if not currently the case. Or, if wishing something larger, then closer to the entrance station, in the middle median, look to the copse of several large trees together, and find the large tree stump among them. That tree, now removed, was very much alive and well until RMNP cut it down.

While unfortunately instances of property owners not respecting all life on their property, and at times definitely mistreating such trees as they have assumed responsibility for, one might think the NPS has a higher mandate. Which it does. Theoretically. Fully 95% of RMNP is designated wilderness. Their official description of that is land and wildlife to be left "untrammeled" by mankind.

Perhaps that is a subjective thing. Although I doubt John Muir, or RMNP champion Enos Mills, had in mind miles of high steel fences, elk running around with tags on them, or clear cuts bordering forest roads.
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Old 09-18-2012, 11:44 PM
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Wink RMNP: as your legacy and life

Having taken the opportunity for a brief walkabout in Rocky Mountain National Park, it was lovely in being but me myself—and a plethora of jet airplanes.

For those in the more popular places, campgrounds, and on the roads, there can be cacophony enough. Yet for a national park of 265,761 acres—95% of it officially designated wilderness—it is possible to wander off the beaten track and experience some of the best Colorado has to offer. One might be thankful for even being there, and it was lovely, this rather being the point. For many do not get there all that often, and a special occasion when they do. Many do not venture far from a road, or even trail if they get that far, but one of the principal aspects of such a place is that one might. Americans such as Henry David Thoreau believed that such wild places were vital to the wellbeing of the human spirit, and that not only true today but all the more so.

Thus beyond insult that even such an American treasure as this is routinely violated by the thoughtless of many stripes and authorities who could not bother a minor diversion to leave even one place, and a few others like it, untrammeled. That very word by the way, "untrammeled," is the key official definition of wilderness.

Gordon Hempton has been instrumental in trying to protect another American treasure, in Olympic National Park, with his One Square Inch initiative. With some success he has persuaded airlines to avoid at least one area in the Hoh Rain Forest of that park; so that any visitor in such a beautiful setting might experience absolute tranquility, untrammeled by any outside influence of mankind, save those that have hiked as far to experience this.

Many of the trails in RMNP were built with much work and loving care. In places they exhibit the laborious placement of large stones as steps where needed, and as buttress along the side of trails on steep hillsides. None of that was easy. It speaks of those who really cared.

Nothing in this world is guaranteed. RMNP itself is less than one hundred years old, having been founded in 1915. Back then it saw 1/10 the number of visitors as today, and in some respects is being loved to death. But not always near as much by those who acts as stewards, viewing it more as a paycheck than sacred trust. That one cannot travel through such a magnificent wilderness alone and untrammeled by unnecessary intrusions of the 21st century speaks of other ills present as well.

RMNP deserves nothing less than the most respect and care, as do all its inhabitants. One of these being humans, and if given the chance many of them in visiting might find renewal and insight into how best we all might act as good stewards of this land.
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Old 09-21-2012, 12:05 AM
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
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But what about all those horrible carbon emissions that will be increased by making aircraft flying a much longer route around it?

Truth be told, if this sort of clueless tree-hugger nonsense were to take root, we'd have so many idiots trying to make their personal pet place a no-fly-zone that it'd be impossible to fly anywhere.

There is no such thing as absolute tranquility in nature. There are all sorts of obnoxious sounds from weather, animals, waterways etc. Jet noise is just another sound made by one of God's creatures.
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Old 09-21-2012, 12:21 AM
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
20,949 posts, read 37,694,474 times
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Originally Posted by Bob from down south View Post
But what about all those horrible carbon emissions that will be increased by making aircraft flying a much longer route around it?
Haven't you heard??? Carbon Credits!!!! Just like coal emissions... A Trading scam to redistribute wealth from evil Capitism ((ex) profitable employers)

Hopefully the Jets will be running on Algae fuel SOON. (and ME TOO!!) VERY low emissions

50 mpg since 1976, NO OPEC or Dinosaurs (or toxic Batteries) required

3 million miles on my fleet.... HOW much carbon credits do I get... (NONE)
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Old 09-21-2012, 04:09 PM
Location: Valley of the Sun
220 posts, read 430,752 times
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Originally Posted by Bob from down south View Post
What a bunch of overemotional tripe. (see I know how to use bold print, too)

So Idunn, where 'zackly did you get YOUR degree in forestry?? I'm confident that Baker and NPS based their decisions on the recommendations of their professional foresters, of which they employ more than just a few, and not on the opinions of tree-hugging sensationalist forum posters.
Should ask him for some credentials and qualifications first rather than just bash him. Maybe he's got a PhD in wildlife biology or ecology? You dont know!!!
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Old 09-22-2012, 09:20 PM
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Wink Relevant quotes

"Thank God men cannot fly, and lay waste the sky as well as the earth." ~Henry David Thoreau

Enos Mills was instrumental in the creation of Rocky Mountain National Park, and in more than a few respects might be considered the father of it. Following, a quote from him:

"Go into the Parks and get their encouragement. Among the serene and steadfast scenes you will find the paths of peace and a repose that is sweeter than sleep. If you are dulled and dazed with the fever and the fret, or weary and worn,--tottering under burdens too heavy to bear,--go back to the old outdoor home. Here Nature will care for you as a mother for a child. In the mellow-lighted forest aisles, beneath the beautiful airy arches of limbs and leaves, with the lichen-tinted columns of gray and brown, with the tongueless eloquence of the bearded, veteran trees, amid the silence of centuries, you will come into your own."
~Enos Mills

ps. In Addendum:
"It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment". ~Ansel Adams
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Old 10-22-2012, 07:27 PM
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Wink Fern Lake Fire as sign

"…short-sighted men who in their greed and selfishness will, if permitted, rob our country of half its charm by their reckless extermination of all useful and beautiful wild things..."
— President Theodore Roosevelt

Front Range residents north of Denver are likely aware of the spreading wildfire in Rocky Mountain National Park (even if not knowing exactly where it is) due the large amount of smoke visible today on the horizon. The news says the colorful sunsets of the last few days due this as well.

This wildfire spread an additional 102 acres yesterday, currently having burned about 792 acres. Just judging from the high plume of smoke rising northwest of Longs Peak, seemingly a much larger wildfire than mere figures suggest. One yet contained, and due the rugged terrain not likely put out until nature intervenes with heavy rain or snow. A cool front should manifest starting Thursday, with this extending through Sunday; with the exception of Saturday, there is a moderate chance of some snow during this period. Technically it snowed last week as well, with evidence of this still on the highest peaks, but this wildfire obviously wasn't much impressed.

This at times quite obvious wildfire might also be viewed as clarion call that in a number of important ways nature within RMNP is anything but untroubled.

This update might have been posted as well under the topic of 2012 Colorado wildfires, only mention should be made in how this fire is being approached. The National Park Service has apparently, since the large wildfire in Yellowstone NP, sworn off letting wildfires in our parks due largely as they will. At least in RMNP, they actively fight them, even if, as with this one, adjusting to circumstance. But as Estes Park is as close, having vowed not to let this wildfire burn beyond the park's boundaries. It might be noted that 95% of RMNP is officially designated wilderness, which theoretically should remain untrammeled by mankind. As this reference makes clear—with also information on status and closed trails, etc.—that is not the case.[1] There is nothing in the use of chain saws leaving Mother Nature as is. Nor has their widespread use in RMNP been confined to fighting wildfires, as any visitor to the park in the last year and more could certainly have noticed.

The present so-called stewards of RMNP do not operate by either the letter or spirit of the 1964 Wilderness Act.

1) 'Moderate activity expected to continue on the Fern Lake Fire,' Times Call
Moderate activity expected to continue on the Fern Lake Fire - Longmont Times-Call
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Old 10-22-2012, 11:22 PM
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As one that lived in Estes Park for years, I know about that park. Some trees look like they are alive to you, but are you sure they have not already been hit by the beatles, and just do not show it to the untrained eye yet. Once the beetles hit them, they are gone just not showing it at first. Getting the dead and dying trees away from the road is very smart, as that is the danger area in the park. Every year they get small fires started due to tourists throwing matches, and cigarettes out the window of their cars. They need to move the trees near the road that are currently or will become fuel (hit by beetles but not showing it to untrained eyes), to protect the park from stupid and careless visitors to the park.

The huge fires in the west this year, have been evaluated by the experts and it was judged that the reason they got so big, burned so much area, and filled our homes with smoke often hundreds of miles away, was due to all the beetle killed pines. The crazy environmentalists sue every time the forestry experts want to take out the beetle killed pines, and keep things held up to the point that the trees are not worth salvaging. Then along comes a lightning strike, or some tourist throws a cigarette out the window of their car, and the fires rage with all that dead wood fueling them, making it almost impossible to put the fire out.

The environmentalists say let nature be nature, and burn till they stop. Thousands of homes were lost this year, and some lives due to this crazy lawsuits that kept them from logging out the dead trees to prevent huge forest fires that happened due to the lawsuits.

Estes Park had a big fire right next to the park entrance this year, and a lot of homes were lost including one of the young men's homes that spent a lot of time at our home with my son when they were teenagers.
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