Cheatgrass fueling mega-fires

Department of Interior releases carbon findings:
Forests, grasslands and shrublands and other ecosystems in the West sequester nearly 100 million tons (90.9 million metric tons) of carbon each year, according to a Department of the Interior report released today.
Cheatgrass doubles the likelihood of fire. Recall Southeastern Montana's Ash Creek Fire Complex earlier this year.

More on cheatgrass from the Summit County Citizens Voice.

Soot from wildfires accelerating melting of Greenland ice fields.

Wildfire risk assessment proposed.
This non-native species was first introduced to the United Sates from Asia in packing material. Initially distributed along rail lines, it spread throughout many States including Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, and South Dakota.-- By Fabian Menalled MSU Extension Cropland Weeds Specialist
Christopher Joyce, NPR:
These cheatgrass fires are increasing partly because the climate is warmer and also because more people are living in cheatgrass country. There are some things that can be done though, like planting green borders of less flammable vegetation around cheatgrass as a fire break.
From the USGS Western Ecological Research Center:
There is significant concern that repeated burning at historically appropriate fire return intervals for ponderosa pine forest will benefit this invasive plant to the detriment of native species. There is additional concern that the high flammability of cheatgrass fuelbeds will lead to fire return intervals that are more frequent than occurred historically and that are prescribed in the agency fire management plans, potentially preventing recruitment of pine seedlings and leading to type conversion of native forests to alien grasslands.
Again, Christopher Joyce:
And there's a fungus that kills cheatgrass — it's called the black fingers of death — but introducing it could be biologically risky to other plants.
Grazing cheatgrass early in the season by native ungulates that deposit organic fertilizer helps restore native plants.

Black Hills Pioneer: South Dakota Department of Earth Hatred washes Valentine Mining's feet with hair in ritual worship.

The world's oldest trees are dying.

EPA announces redevelopment tools:
To further promote the reuse of potentially contaminated lands with renewable energy, the EPA released three model comfort letters specific to renewable energy development.
The withdrawal of Jim DeMint likely elevates water warrior Senator Roy Blunt (earth hater-MO) to lead assault from lower Missouri River basin.

Wyoming receives nearly half of federal mineral receipts. (pdf)

EPA announces environmental justice small grants winners. Region 8 recipients were in Colorado and Utah.

While President Obama's comments at the White House Tribal Nations Conference seemed to embrace measures to heal the Earth the US is sandbagging climate talks in Doha incensing some in more enlightened countries.

Mr. President: rewild the West.

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