Working collaboratively with the Feds
& the State on behalf of forest health
CFLRP … The Uncompahgre Plateau’s Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Project held its annual stakeholder meeting in Montrose last week. Since San Miguel County has a stake in the USFS-driven initiative, I got to attend -- the only elected official in a roomful of CSU scientists and Forest Service line officers and field workers … The most recent phase of County’s Burn Canyon Monitoring Task Force project was funded through this group three years ago. Another scan of the Burn Canyon longitudinal study -- set up to indicate whether salvage logging negatively, positively or neutrally affects forest regeneration -- is slated for next year. Linda and the late Phil Miller of Telluride worked tirelessly to get the original Burn Canyon citizen science project off the ground … It was encouraging to hear Dr. Tony Cheng of the Colorado Forest Restoration Institute cite the influence of our pioneering Western Slope collaborative -- the Public Lands Partnership, of which San Miguel County is a contributing member – as one of the reasons the Uncompahgre Plateau CFLRP was formed and has been successful nationally in bringing special grant treatment dollars to our local forest … And while impressed by all the presentations -- from Todd Gardiner’s implementation accomplishments to the spruce regeneration study by Dr. Seth Ex’s graduate student, Ryan Davy – it was Dr. Bill Romme’s aspen browse study that knocked my socks off … Contrary to long-accepted forest dogma, browsing cattle, deer and elk don’t appear to have significant impacts on aspen regeneration, except perhaps locally. In fact, according to Romme, it would appear that average annual difference across the forest between unbrowsed and browsed aspen seedlings was just over a foot change in growth. And that was mostly from deer and elk. Cattle had relatively little impact … However, local conditions were a large influence, and Romme tempered his findings by explaining that site specific factors had to be taken into consideration, as completely opposite results were seen in different parts of the forest.
BERTA CÁCERES … The assassination of this indigenous environmental leader in Honduras last week has precipitated international outrage … Josh Nichols and Leila Serafin of Norwood both worked with Cáceres, protesting a disastrous dam project on native lands in that Central American country. They were in shock at the murder of their friend … Since the military coup that ousted the rightist-turned-leftist Manuel Zelaya-Rosales from the presidency, violence in Honduras has escalated precipitously. According to The Guardian (British), “Human rights defenders, journalists, lawyers, trade unionists, gay rights activists and political opponents of subsequent regimes have been singled out for abduction, disappearance, torture and murder in a climate of almost complete impunity” … Women particularly have been targeted. In 2014, 513 women were killed and in 2015 it was estimated that a woman lost her life every 16 hours in Honduras ... Cáceres founded the Council of Indigenous Peoples of Honduras (COPINH) and last year was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize. In her acceptance speech, she appeared to foreshadow her own death, when she noted that “giving our lives in various ways for the protection of rivers is giving our lives for the well-being of humanity and of this planet” … International Rivers and other international groups have called for foreign investors and engineering companies to withdraw from the Agua Zarca hydropower project that Cáceres had been opposing at the time of her murder.
DOUBLE D JAZZ … Nice to have jazz back on main street for more than just jazz fest season. Arroyo’s hosted the Double D group last Friday and they were cooking.
HARDBODY SHINES … Don’t miss Sasha and Colin Sullivan’s latest comic musical extravaganza in the Palm. You won’t sit in the cushy seats of our lovely, if cavernous, aerodrome of a hall, but right up on stage. All the singing & dancing. Right in your face … And not just all laughs. Tackling prejudice and tragedy full-on. A Texas car lot promotion gone bad … Funny for sure. Serious sometimes. And in the end, happy. Like a good comedy should be.
LEAP DAY … D.J. Steve Rubick of KVNF explained his problem with February’s Leap Day last Monday. “It’s the wrong month,” he told his listeners. “They ought to set it on the 5th of July, or sometime when it would be of use to the people. Make it a holiday!” … Must say, I kind of agree. It’s a day out of time in the calendar, and it ought to be placed somewhere other than merely tagged on to our shortest month. In the middle of winter.
THE TALKING GOURD
They brought bulldozers
We brought the Volkswagen bus
A land of machines