Forest Service caught using misleading photo - Area shown suggested natural area but was actually logged

Bob Weinberger bobsstuff at
Sat Apr 17 23:11:13 EST 2004

"Donald L Ferrt" <wolfbat359 at> wrote in message
news:b9eb3efe.0404171453.46a02f0e at

> You cheat grass which matures in June, offers an explosive understory,
> just waiting to explode into the branches of pine trees, no matter how
> high they are that native grasses that did not mature until August and
> September did not!

You're way off base with your analysis of the results of that study , and
how it relates to the effect of cheatgrass on fires in Ponderosa Pine.
While as the article you cite concluded that:
1. cheat grass burns very readily.
2. fires are more common on cheatgrass dominated lands than on lands where
native grasses dominate.
3. cheatgrass matures into a flamable state much earlier in the season than
native grasses.,
all that is irrelevant to stand consuming fires in Ponderosa Pine forests
(especially in stands of Mature PP) because:
1. while cheatgrass is extremely flammable, it is a very flashy fuel that
burns extremely rapidly, but generates relatively low flame heights and
2. the ecology of cheatgrass is such that it seldom is a significant
presence under a tree canopy, and in those few cases where it is a majority
species in the understory it tends to be rather unthrifty , producing
relatively low fuel loads.
3. because cheatgrass matures and dries out early, by the time "normal" fire
season arrives, often much of the fuel it has produced is laying on the
ground, or is scattered and blown away.

While cheatgrass may be a significnt factor in the number of range fires
that escape into the forest, once the fire is in actual forest cover,
cheatgrass is rarely a factor that has enough impact on the situation to
ever be a consideration in fire planning , actions, or preventative

         Bob Weinberger
Forest Management Consulting

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