Hosted by Friends of the Richland Public Library
Photographer John Marshall will lead a discussion on the past philosophies and future policies of forest fire management in Eastern Washington. Lightning strikes and Native Americans historically ignited many small fires, resulting in open forests with a rich mosaic of wildlife habitats. As Europeans settled the area, many began to argue for the vigilant prevention of wildfires. For half a century, the U.S. Forest Service battled all fires and invented Smokey Bear, a character that spread the discredited notion that fire is all bad. Now fires are larger and hotter as forests have grown into living tinderboxes. All of Eastern Washington’s vulnerable forests will inevitably burn. The question for us is: How do we want them to burn?
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