Ponderosa pine

Following Route 191 we found very beautiful ponderosa pines, as you see in the first picture. The Mustang Ridge Fire burned 22,000 acres, mostly of juniper-pinyon pine forest. It pretty much wiped out these and they still are not regenerated. The ponderosa pine seem in better condition.

I have been aware to fire scenes as we have been driving through the West. Some landscapes are much more fire adapted than others, but what they have in common is that they are overgrown and too much fuel has accumulated.

I read an article today, “Interior’s Zinke Demands ‘Aggressive’ War on Fires, Stop Letting ‘Nature Take Its Course.'” This is overdue. There will be fires. They can be postponed but not permanently prevented, nor should we try to prevent them. We need to manage fire.
The Forest Service planted big sagebrush, shown in the second picture. The last two pictures are from farther along the road in Wyoming. It continues to amaze me how empty parts of our country still are. We drove for hours at 70mph and lots of the time saw nobody.