Resources > Video: Good Fire, Bad Fire & the State of Our Landscapes & Communities Without Fire

Good Fire, Bad Fire, and the State of Our Communities & Landscapes Without Fire

Naturalist Nights 2016 | Jim Genung

Fire roamed freely across North America long before human populations began trying to corral it. It is as necessary an element in our environment as snow or sunlight. It has worked to shape the plant matter of our landscapes which in turn promotes healthy biological systems we know as the cycle of nature. Trying to take it away is akin to building a giant dome over a watershed like the Roaring Fork to keep the rain out. We would have some problems. This is essentially what was attempted with fire. Add a bulging population that wants to live where fire has been eliminated and a fire that wants to be let out of its cage, and we have created a difficult human conundrum. In this discussion, Jim will talk briefly about how all this came about, but more importantly what this problem looks like now and discuss possible strategies that will intelligently support human populations and fire adapted wildlands in the future.

Jim Genung works in fire management with the U.S Forest Service. He spends half his time planning, promoting and putting, good fire back on the landscape in Western Colorado. He spends the other half traveling the country with the Rocky Mountain Type 1 Incident Management Team managing good fire and bad fire. The bad fire is usually a result of poor planning, promoting and putting. He lives in the Roaring Fork Valley and works at the Aspen-Sopris Ranger District in Carbondale, CO.

Naturalist Nights are brought to you through a partnership between Aspen Center for Environmental Studies, Wilderness Workshop, and Roaring Fork Audubon.

Jim Genung, Prescribed Fire & Fuels Specialist, White River National Forest

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