American Frontiers PLIADOIBLMUSDA FSGeography Action from NGSHondaColemanCoca-Cola
Search
About
Dispatches
The Trek


The Trek

The Teams
Read bios about the team members and see photos.

Team Member Journals
Read online journals filled out by members of both Trek teams. Search by date, place and more.

Interactive and Downloadable Maps

Related Events

Trek Itinerary

Media Center



Exhibits
Lessons
Geo Action

PLIC Museum
Home

 The Trek: The Journals

•
Team: South
Jan Nesset
Tuesday, September 3
Fires Are For The Birds

If you pass a dead canary while descending into the earth to mine coal, turn around. Birds tell us things about our environment.

Heidi Sellers, a biologist for the United States Geologic Survey, studies how fires affect birds after a fire sweeps through a forest. Which birds benefit and which ones do not, and why?
To study birds and fire, she said, requires starting with standard assumptions such as 1) years of fire suppression creates more fuels thus hotter fires, 2) humans can control fires and 3) forests need rehabilitation after a fire to aid recovery.

Studies suggest that all those assumptions can be argued. Hot fires are not necessarily new, she said, and one example of this can be found flying among the tree stands burnt crispy by hot fires.
The Three-Toed Woodpecker here on the North Rim is highly adapted to high-intensity fires. They use severely burnt trees in which to raise their young. In fact, the Three-Toed Woodpeckers need cycles of crown fires to be successful.
However, the “forest gleaners,” the birds that hunt for insects among the bark and leaves of healthy trees, don’t do so well.

Humans can control fires to an extent, she said, but there is ample proof to show that fires jump fire lines all the time. “They’re not really controllable,” she said, pointing out that the huge fires that burnt much of Yellowstone Park went out by themselves.

Do forests need to be rehabilitated after a fire? Well, if controlling natural process takes precedence then interference can produce a desired effect. But Sellers said studies suggest that “forests are not supposed to look the same – they’re ever-changing.”

If you are surprised to learn that there’s a biology side to the USGS, we are too!

If you’re ever near Jacob Lake and have a few minutes on your hands, check out the historic Jacob Lake Ranger Station. It was built in 1910 and modernized in the eighties and recently renovated so people like you and I can appreciate our heritage and our past.

The ranger station was first used by “Uncle” Jim Owens, a government trapper who in part was kept around these parts to thin mountain lions so people such as President Theodore Roosevelt had ample supplies of trophy mule deer to hunt. That wasn’t looked upon as such a bad thing at the time.

Walking through the renovated two-room cabin is truly a passage through time. It’s tidy now, which is not how I imagine its state of affairs early last century – or ever, really! Most of the items are not original but good representations of the items likely to be used by the people who lived here. In the center of the living room spread across the floor is a tanned black-and-white cow hide. There’s a pair of old White’s boots, some boot grease, an ancient Forest Service manual, a pair of old wood skis, mule deer antlers with an old FS hat hanging from a tine, a 100-foot surveyor's tape, a shaving kit, an oil lamp on an old bureau, etc.

But the real story here is found in the kitchen around the old stove, which is not the original. Chinks and mars in the floor boards and walls have dutifully been filled in with wood filler and then painted over. There are stories in those chinks. A long scratch arcs across the floorboards. The tops of cans cover holes in the walls. They, too, are covered with paint.
The spot where we grab for a door knob shows years of trouble. Replacements have come and gone, that’s for sure, and now a new door knob and latch is positioned over the trouble spot. A lot of people have used that door. Of course, it is a passageway into the kitchen.
for Tuesday, September 3
North South Both




Biographical
•
Team: South
Jan Nesset
An experienced outdoorsman, Jan Nesset knows that everyone has to pitch in at camp
A native of Montana and the third of four children, Jan Nesset joins American...
   >> more...



List of All Journal Entries
•
Wednesday, April 28
Jan Nesset
American Frontiers: Part II: Taking Stock
   >> more...

•
Sunday, December 1
Jan Nesset
Canyonlands in December
   >> more...

•
Thursday, November 21
Jan Nesset
Snow Raspberry Bounty
   >> more...

•
Sunday, November 17
Jan Nesset
The Bisti Badlands
   >> more...

•
Friday, November 15
Jan Nesset
Public Land Flows Through It
   >> more...

•
Thursday, November 7
Jan Nesset
A Day At Earth Analytic's Home
   >> more...

•
Tuesday, October 29
Jan Nesset
Slot Canyon Adventure
   >> more...

•
Monday, October 28
Jan Nesset
Some Things Never Change
   >> more...

•
Sunday, October 27
Jan Nesset
Back To The Wave
   >> more...

•
Monday, October 7
Jan Nesset
The Thing About Summits
   >> more...

•
Saturday, September 28
Jan Nesset
A New Beginning: National Public Lands Day
   >> more...

•
Thursday, September 26
Jan Nesset
Big Day of Sneak and Salvage
   >> more...

•
Wednesday, September 25
Jan Nesset
History-Coated Strawberry
   >> more...

•
Tuesday, September 24
Jan Nesset
The Last Of It
   >> more...

•
Monday, September 23
Jan Nesset
Dinosaurlandia
   >> more...

•
Sunday, September 22
Jan Nesset
Over The Edge
   >> more...

•
Saturday, September 21
Jan Nesset
God Bless America
   >> more...

•
Friday, September 20
Jan Nesset
Sometimes It's A Tough Life And We Get To Do It
   >> more...

•
Thursday, September 19
Jan Nesset
The Niche Near You
   >> more...

•
Wednesday, September 18
Jan Nesset
Snow Day
   >> more...

•
Tuesday, September 17
Jan Nesset
A Capitol Reef Bull's Eye
   >> more...

•
Monday, September 16
Jan Nesset
A Lucky Rift
   >> more...

•
Sunday, September 15
Jan Nesset
Riding The Hog's Back
   >> more...

•
Saturday, September 14
Jan Nesset
Oh Rhythm My Rhythm
   >> more...

•
Friday, September 13
Jan Nesset
Precious Images
   >> more...

•
Thursday, September 12
Jan Nesset
From the Hole to the Staircase
   >> more...

•
Wednesday, September 11
Jan Nesset
Happy Days
   >> more...

•
Tuesday, September 10
Jan Nesset
Do You Believe In Magic?
   >> more...

•
Monday, September 9
Jan Nesset
The Bridge Over the River Why
   >> more...

•
Sunday, September 8
Jan Nesset
Public Lands And…Not You?
   >> more...

•
Saturday, September 7
Jan Nesset
That Place So Special
   >> more...

•
Friday, September 6
Jan Nesset
Just Looking To Have Some Fun – Be Dammed!
   >> more...

•
Thursday, September 5
Jan Nesset
Do The Wave
   >> more...

•
Wednesday, September 4
Jan Nesset
The Condors Are Coming!
   >> more...

•
Tuesday, September 3
Jan Nesset
Fires Are For The Birds
   >> more...

•
Monday, September 2
Jan Nesset
Back On Top
   >> more...

•
Sunday, September 1
Jan Nesset
Perfection
   >> more...

•
Saturday, August 31
Jan Nesset
The Wheels Have Left The Tarmac
   >> more...

•
Friday, August 30
Jan Nesset
Star Light
   >> more...

•
Thursday, August 29
Jan Nesset
The Traditional Connection
   >> more...

•
Wednesday, August 28
Jan Nesset
Onward and Upward On Mountain Bikes
   >> more...

•
Tuesday, August 27
Jan Nesset
Checkerboard Kings and Queens
   >> more...

•
Monday, August 26
Jan Nesset
Aldo Leopold As Ranch Manager
   >> more...

•
Sunday, August 25
Jan Nesset
A Story In Everything
   >> more...

•
Saturday, August 24
Jan Nesset
Fire In The Whole
   >> more...

•
Friday, August 23
Jan Nesset
"Good Morning, Flagstaff!"
   >> more...

•
Thursday, August 22
Jan Nesset
Hoping For The Best
   >> more...

•
Wednesday, August 21
Jan Nesset
Could Get Stinky
   >> more...

•
Tuesday, August 20
Jan Nesset
Wheels Asunder
   >> more...

•
Monday, August 19
Jan Nesset
Hurt Me, Thank You!
   >> more...

•
Sunday, August 18
Jan Nesset
Roads Aplenty and Rocks of Pleasure
   >> more...

•
Saturday, August 17
Jan Nesset
Of Dragons and Fire
   >> more...

•
Friday, August 16
Jan Nesset
Motorcycles and the Zen of Route Mechanics
   >> more...

•
Thursday, August 15
Jan Nesset
Puzzled
   >> more...

•
Wednesday, August 14
Jan Nesset
A Day Off, Sort Of
   >> more...

•
Tuesday, August 13
Jan Nesset
A Delightful, Light Day
   >> more...

•
Monday, August 12
Jan Nesset
Courage On Eagle Mountain
   >> more...

•
Sunday, August 11
Jan Nesset
Farewell
   >> more...

•
Saturday, August 10
Jan Nesset
My Aching Back In The Saddle
   >> more...

•
Friday, August 9
Jan Nesset
Back In The Saddle
   >> more...

•
Thursday, August 8
Jan Nesset
In The Saddle
   >> more...

•
Wednesday, August 7
Jan Nesset
Shut My Mouth!
   >> more...

•
Tuesday, August 6
Jan Nesset
Diversity and Song
   >> more...

•
Monday, August 5
Jan Nesset
An Unraveling
   >> more...

•
Sunday, August 4
Jan Nesset
A Bagged Peak
   >> more...

•
Saturday, August 3
Jan Nesset
Lines On A Map
   >> more...

•
Friday, August 2
Jan Nesset
GPS-Marriage Made In Heaven
   >> more...

•
Thursday, August 1
Jan Nesset
Free Wheelin'
   >> more...

•
Wednesday, July 31
Jan Nesset
An Excellent Start
   >> more...








TOP





All material copyright ©2002 - 2018, Public Lands Interpretive Association except photographs where ownership is otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.