In The News

News articles that feature John Muir Project activities or quotes from JMP staff.

Suppressing Wildfires is Harming California’s Giant Sequoia Trees

April 5, 2024

By Adam Popescu
NewScientist: Life

Recent years have seen some of the largest wildfires in California’s history, and one of the best approaches to limiting their damage is controlled burns that reduce natural fuel for the fires. But now, it seems these burns are destroying the state’s iconic sequoia trees.

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Forest Service Sued for Approving Plumas Forest Logging Project

March 22, 2024

By Samantha Hawkins
Bloomberg Law

The US Forest Service approved a logging project in the Plumas National Forest without adequately assessing its environmental effects, environmental groups said in a lawsuit filed Friday in California federal court. The $650 million Central/West Slope Project plans to log and burn 217,721 acres of mature and old-growth habitat in Plumas National Forest, located in the northern Sierra Nevadas, John Muir Project of Earth Island Institute and other groups said in the lawsuit.

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Team of Researchers Find Wildfire is Future to Saving California’s Giant Sequoias

March 13, 2024

By Hunter Sowards
CBS13 News

Wildfires were once seen as the downfall of the treasured giant sequoia trees in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains, but a team of researchers with the John Muir Project released a recent study outlining how they could be our best shot at saving them.

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Conservation Groups Seek to Block Logging Projects in Giant Sequoia National Monument

February 23, 2024

By Carmen Kohlruss
The Magazine of the Sierra Club

The sequoia groves and endangered animals found in California’s Giant Sequoia National Monument are imperiled by a pair of logging projects, conservation groups argue in a new lawsuit that asks a federal judge to put a stop to the proposed tree cutting.

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NPS Wants to Plant Sequoias; Environmentalists Sue, Say There’s No Need to Butt In

November 28, 2023

By Andrew J. Campa
Los Angeles Times

High-intensity fires in 2020 and 2021 devastated the adult sequoia tree population globally, particularly at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks in Southern California. That is one of the few things that National Park Service staffers and the environmentalists who are suing the agency can agree on.

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Why Environmentalists are Suing the National Park Service to Prevent It From Planting Trees

November 27, 2023

By Jonathan Park & Janna Van Vranken

The National Park Service wants to replant sequoia groves in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, where wildfires in 2020 and 2021 inflicted lasting damage on the iconic sequoia forests. Environmentalists in California say its a huge mistake.

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The Logjam in Biden’s $50 Billion Dollar Wildfire Plan

November 23, 2023

By Paul Koberstein & Jessica Applegate
Undark Op-Ed

On Maui, a solitary beachfront home, unscorched by the wildfire that devastated the town of Lahaina in August, stands amid the ashes of dozens of incinerated homes. And in Northern California, a large, mostly unscathed forest mysteriously surrounds the devastated town of Paradise, lost five years ago to another wildfire.

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Climate Activists Seek to Save the Planet by Cutting, Burying Trees

October 13, 2023

By Autumn Spredemann
The Epoch Times

Tree thinning is a disputed procedure that has drawn as much criticism within the environmental community as it has support. Many scientists, researchers, and conservationists are against it, saying that tree thinning can even worsen wildfires.

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After More Than 100 Years, Gray Wolves Reappear in Giant Sequoia National Monument

August 30, 2023

By Louis SahagĂșn
Los Angeles Times

On the morning of July 6, Michelle Harris saw a huge canid with yellow eyes dash across a fire road lined with charred snags and giant sequoias blackened by recent wildfires. The animal “paused, started to pace and made clipped barking sounds — like it was very worried about something,” recalled Harris, a biologist who was working on a restoration project in the area.

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Logging for Fire Mitigation Stokes Anger Among Residents

March 6, 2023

By John Aguilar
The Denver Post

Hundreds of freshly cut ponderosa logs lay stacked in rows in Elk Meadow Park, some measuring several feet in diameter — and more than a century old. Not far away, wood chips and slash litter a clearing where trees once stood.

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Scientist: Trees Felled in Vain in Name of Fire Control

January 25, 2023

By Dana Gentry
Nevada Current

An alliance between governments and the commercial logging industry under the guise of fire management is decimating forests, wreaking ecological havoc, and exacerbating risks for people and property, according to scientists at odds with what they call archaic methods that are futile in controlling fires.

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Billions in Feds’ Spending on Megafire Risks Seen as Misdirected

August 8, 2022

By Bobby Magill
Bloomberg Law

Congress is spending billions to save communities from Western megafires by thinning large swaths of forests even as scientists say climate change-driven drought and heat are too extreme for it to work.

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Are California’s Wildfires Really “Disasters”–or Just Something Natural?

October 8, 2021

By Piper McDaniel
Mother Jones

When a forest is torched by wildfire, what’s left behind is something resembling a dystopian hellscape. There are no green things, just a carpet of scorched earth and telltale piles of ash and debris: Here was a house, here a garden, here the shell of a car–and thousands of trees, stripped and blackened.

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Could the Infrastructure Bill Make Wildfires Worse?

August 11, 2021

By Adam Aton
E&E News

The West is burning, and Congress is responding with a fire hose of money. The bipartisan infrastructure deal that advanced yesterday through the Senate would spend billions of dollars on wildfire policy, with much of it earmarked for cutting trees and planting new ones. Some experts warn that approach could backfire.

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Has the Forest Service Been Making Wildfires Worse?

October 23, 2020

By Christopher Ketcham
The New Republic

The Bear fire was one of the largest of the over 8,000 wildfires that have beset California this year. Now incorporated into the still-burning North Complex Fire, the Bear started in the Plumas National Forest, sparked by a series of lightning strikes on August 17 across the northern Sierra Nevada.

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The battle we have fought, and are still fighting for the forests is a part of the eternal conflict between right and wrong, and we cannot expect to see the end of it. … So we must count on watching and striving for these trees, and should always be glad to find anything so surely good and noble to strive for.

John Muir, "The National Parks and Forest Reservations" in a speech by John Muir
(Proceedings of the Meeting of the Sierra Club Held November 23, 1895.) Published in Sierra Club Bulletin, (1896)