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Sunday, May 19, 2013







Sunday, 9:00 AM.  48 degrees F on the porch, 42 degrees downtown.  Wind ENE, light to moderate, cooling things off.  The sky is overcast, fog obscures Madeline Island, and the ferry is sounding its fog horn.  The barometer is down at 29.89 in. and the humidity is 97%.  It looks like we are in for some rainy weather.  I think I see and hear migrating spring warblers this morning, and the other night I heard tree frogs.
   There is so much news that moves so fast these days that what happened a few days ago is  no longer news and is likely to be forgotten, even if it is a 9,000 acre forest fire in northern Wisconsin.      So I thought I should follow up on my pledge to present a few photos of slash left over from logging.  From what I can see the logging process is much the same around here whether it is on private, federal, state or county forest land.  There may be different rules and regulations, but it pretty much ends up looking the same.
   As I said earlier, I have voiced my concerns about logging slash to a number of foresters, public and private, and the standard reply is that slash is of really no great fire concern. Look at the photos and draw your own conclusions.
   Now maybe there is truly no risk in dried out slash (the logs are harvested, the branches and everything else left as it falls), or the risk is small, or the risk is acceptable.  If the risk is acceptable there should be some thresholds of acceptability, related to costs in dollars, property and lives.  Anyway, I find it all quite interesting,  and blog reader Pat Weeden posted a comment several days ago regarding a book on the Peshtigo, Wisconsin forest fire of 1871,"Firestorm at Peshtigo,"by Denise Gese, and William Lutz.  I will review it as soon as I can.  The firestorm killed between 1,200 and 2,500 people and burned over 1,800 square miles of forest, and since it occurred on the same day as the great Chicago fire it has been largely forgotten.

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