Fire management and restoration programs in the Sierra National Parks now reflect much of what researchers like van Wagtendonk and Stephenson have learned about the behavior and ecology of wildfires. The current prescribed burning program, says Stephenson, is highly successful.
Although humans have long shaped their landscapes through deliberate use of fire, Allen says fire patterns in the Southwest have largely been driven by the region’s weather patterns.
The damming of the Colorado River at Glen Canyon is high on the West’s “greatest ecological sins” list.
Tucked away in remote Tsegi Canyon, the monument surrounds a small desert oasis, a place abundant in plant life, with mountain mahogany, Gambel oak, serviceberry, rice grass and Douglas fir scattered across the canyon.
The fossil nests, dating to about 220 million years ago, are similar to modern-day crocodile and turtle nests.