From yesterday’s newspaper, a reminder that not all the area within the boundaries of this year’s big New Mexico forest fires is burned to an ugly, indecipherable ecological cinder (sub/ad req):
There is good reason to visit the moonscape, and to talk about what happens next to the ecosystem there — the subject of a future story, and the main reason Adolphe and I asked Allen to show us around. But there is something misleading about the way journalists cover disasters. We are drawn to the worst of the worst — the most devastating flooding, the epicenter of the earthquake damage zone, the moonscape around St. Peter’s Dome.
Remember this as you watch us going into disaster mode. The situation is likely not as severe as the parts we’re showing you.
Almost two years ago I backpacked in the Pasayten through the Tripod Fire – a stand-clearing fire in beetle-kill lodgepole.
Very hot and impressive ~160k acre fire that burned two years earlier. Some earth was glassine-like, while many other spots were recolonizing with fireweed and other forbs using the N release. Glad I got the opportunity, and I think my hiking buddies appreciated my lapse into naturalist mode, too, I hope.
Anyway, take the time, John, in the future and go back. You’ll be glad you did.