News Archive

At the doorstep of fire season in Flagstaff

A warm weather streak has beckoned spring in northern Arizona, putting the looming fire season for the second consecutive about a month ahead of schedule.
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Conservationists say thinning Sierra forests may help state water supply

With the state entering its fourth year of drought, some conservationists are looking at thinning Sierra forests to increase the amount of water that flows into area rivers. The Nature Conservancy issued a report Friday that argues that thinning forests on public lands can reduce wildfire risk in
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Wildfires eat up Forest Service budget, hampering prevention

The cost of fighting wildfires in California and in the western United States has skyrocketed, hampering efforts by the U.S. Forest Service to implement fire prevention and forest management programs, the country’s top natural resources official said Wednesday.
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Fungus could halt bark beetle munching

Bark beetles were flitting around Rich Hofstetter’s lab at Northern Arizona University on Thursday morning, escapees from one of several ponderosa pine logs sitting in plastic tubs stacked in the corner. Though harmless inside the lab’s walls, the species, ips lecontei, has a deadly history — it
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Forest restoration gets help from state utility giant

Several new watershed restoration and monitoring projects are taking shape around northern Arizona’s forests, but the impetus behind them isn’t a nonprofit, municipality, university or the Forest Service. It’s Salt River Project, the utility that provides water and power to hundreds of thousands of
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Bare winter could spell trouble for Flagstaff

Two words appear again and again on posts to Wing Mountain Snowplay Area’s Facebook page: No Snow. With the last pockets of white disappearing into the forest floor and temperatures hitting the 60s, snowplay area manager Reggie Boyd made the call last week to close for the season.
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New technology helps SRP track river, stream flows, snowmelt, water depth

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then nobody knows better than Salt River Project's Lee Ester, manager of SRP's Water Measurement department. Among other things, Ester's group is tasked with the important job of measuring river and stream flows across SRP's 13,000-square-foot watershed
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Setting the record of Arizona's forests straight

What did northern Arizona’s forests look like hundreds of years ago? How big were the trees? How densely packed? And how often did fire sweep over the landscape? These were crucial questions to answer as the Forest Service pieced together a plan to restore northern Arizona’s forests.The agency is
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Bleak future for warming forest

The wiry branches of a dead ponderosa pierce the skyline of a stretch of forest just north of Walnut Canyon National Monument. The landscape is dotted with these tree skeletons, victims of a severe drought in 2002 and which are now losing their limbs, slowly crumbling back into the soil. It may
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MNA Slide Fire Exhibit: Fire in the frame

On Tuesday, Lynette Jennings closed herself and a helper behind a curtain in the Donald W. Waddell Special Exhibits Gallery at the Museum of Northern Arizona. The afternoon light through a nearby window caught one image, a stand of massive Ponderosa pines engulfed in bright orange. The scene was of
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