Resistence, Restoration, Resilience: A Survey of Fire’s American Century

2016, Past Issues, Print, Volume 48 (2016) Issue 1 (Spring)
Stephen J. Pyne. America’s modern fire era began with two parallel processes. One was industrialization, which sought to replace open fire with internal combustion but also rewired humanity’s power and redefined Americans’ relationship to their natural surroundings. This transitional phase is typically one of unsettled fire regimes and widespread, even abusive, burning. The other process was the surge of settlement that swept over post-Civil War America. A map of forest fires for the 1880 census shows the outcome. America in the 1880s was much like Brazil in the 1980s—an agricultural society, rapidly industrializing and remaking its national estate. Fires—both good and bad— were everywhere. America’s first professional forester, the Prussian-trained Bernhard Fernow, dismissed the scene as one “of bad habits and loose morals.” The wreckage was widespread and visible. Occasionally,…
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Technology and Trees: Increasing Trust and Efficiencies in Forest Restoration

2016, Past Issues, Print, Volume 48 (2016) Issue 1 (Spring)
Suzanne Sitko, Travis Woolley & Neil Chapman. The Nature Conservancy (“Conservancy”) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit conservation organization dedicated to the conservation of biodiversity across the world.1 Recognizing the multiple values of our forested ecosystems is an organizational priority. In Arizona, the Conservancy collaborates with multiple partners and the U.S. Forest Service (“USFS”) to support meaningful efforts to restore forests in a manner that is ecologically appropriate2 and economically viable. Full Article
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Will AZ Learn or Burn? Can AZ Learn to Burn?: The Flagstaff Experience

2016, Past Issues, Print, Volume 48 (2016) Issue 1 (Spring)
Paul Summerfelt. Wildfires engender fear and respect, and often burn at great social cost. They can consume much more than acres burned. But the right kind of wildfire is also a necessary component of a healthy forest ecosystem, the very ponderosa pine forests which blanket much of the northern part of our state. How do we reconcile this dichotomy—the good and the bad of wildfire? Fire is no respecter of jurisdictional boundaries or fence-lines. It readily crosses one-to-the-other: it is relentless, persistent, and powerful. Fire is our problem, and our opportunity. The City of Flagstaff provides a model for how local government can engage in and be successful in this challenging environment. Full Article
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Design is the Source of Variation; Selection is the Filter

2016, Past Issues, Print, Volume 48 (2016) Issue 1 (Spring)
Vernon Smith. Against Design concerns the impossibility of deliberate design for desirable outcomes when the dynamic processes of social and economic change are decentralized, free and creative. In this brief commentary I want to relate the authors’ theme to specialization, innovation, and morality in economy. Human ingenuity and know-how are continually at work causing change and adaptation as people experience how things are and apply their distributed skills and imagination to finding better ways in business and technology. In markets, designs for change are a consequence of this propensity for innovation. The spectacular cases are well-known: James Watt, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and in our day, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, are distinct examples. At ground level this progress is also manifested continuously in “learning by doing” in which workers…
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Democratizing Federal Forest Management Through Public Participation and Collaboration

2016, Past Issues, Print, Volume 48 (2016) Issue 1 (Spring)
Diane Vosick. Public participation and collaboration in federal forest management has evolved over the last century. Currently, the federal land management agencies are encouraged through statutes and regulations meaningfully collaborate with the public during project development and implementation. The hope is that through greater public engagement, the management gridlock that has impeded forest restoration and thinning since the 1990s will be reduced. It is also assumed that as a result of collaboration, environmental review under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) will be improved leading to better natural resource management decisions. The Four Forest Restoration Initiative (4FRI), a collaborative effort to restore 2.4 million acres of ponderosa pine forest across four national forests in northern Arizona, create agreements that help avoid delays caused by litigation to actively and is an example of how collaboration can lower conflict and create agreements that help avoid delays caused…
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The Role of Arizona State Forestry and Fire Management in the 21st Century

2016, Past Issues, Print, Volume 48 (2016) Issue 1 (Spring)
Jeff Whitney. Modern forestry, our national forests, and the U.S. Forest Service were created in the early 1900s as a means to conserve the nation’s natural resources. Reactions to disasters and misunderstandings of forest systems resulted in flawed management practices that persisted throughout the 20th century resulting in critically unhealthy forests across the Western United States. Unhealthy forests threaten watersheds, are prone to disease, insect infestation, and catastrophic wildfire. Arizona State Forestry (AZSF) is part of the solution to these issues. AZSF and our partners have the ability to engage the public and private sector to implement a Cohesive Wildland Fire Strategy to achieve resilient landscapes, fire adapted communities, and safe and effective wildfire responses. Full Article
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The Perfect Storm for Algal Blooms in Arizona

2015, Past Issues, Print, Volume 47 (2015) Issue 4 (Winter)
Christopher J. Waznik. The necessity for clean, usable freshwater has led to countless battles, both physical and legal. Water serves religious purposes, can be aesthetically beautiful, and is the foundational resource behind all life, economic development and the environment. As Leonardo da Vinci so rightly put it: “[w]ater is the driving force of all nature.” Freshwater, however, is a finite, limited resource: 97.3 percent of the earth’s water is saline; freshwater, a mere 2.7 percent. Despite water’s paramountcy to all life, pollution and human-induced changes to ecosystems and the environment threaten to cloud and ruin much of the natural resource that is essential to our species’ very existence. For example, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, is directly linked to certain unregulated water pollution practices. Similarly, the recent increase in algal…
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Hidden Risks in Exploiting Intellectual Property to Avoid Corporate Taxes

2015, Past Issues, Print, Volume 47 (2015) Issue 4 (Winter)
Tucker Terhufen. Google saved over $3 billion dollars in corporate income tax expenses between 2007 and 2010 through a transfer tax strategy known as the “Double Irish with a Dutch Sandwich.” But Google isn’t the only offender, most companies with intellectual property engage in this strategy, and it is estimated that it costs the U.S. Treasury up to $90 billion a year. So how do they get away with it? In brief, the key to the strategy is exploiting flexibility in determining the value of a company’s intellectual property. Being intangible, there are many ways to value intellectual property; companies utilizing the Double Irish strategy claim that their IP is not very valuable for income tax purposes. This seems counterintuitive. Companies invest millions of dollars acquiring, litigating, and defending their…
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A New Synthesis for Law and Emotions: Insights from the Behavioral Sciences

2015, Past Issues, Print, Volume 47 (2015) Issue 4 (Winter)
Carlton J. Patrick. The business of the law is to influence human behavior. To do this effectively, lawmakers must make assumptions about human psychology and how people think. While the behavioral sciences dedicate their entire enterprises to investigating these questions, the law, even at its best, incorporates knowledge from those disciplines in a fragmentary and unsystematic fashion. At its worst, the legal system overlooks or ignores advances in other fields and instead relies on inherited intuitions of behavior that can be both naïve and difficult to enumerate with precision. Nowhere is this phenomenon more evident than in the law’s longstanding struggle with emotions. Frequently relying on outdated folk psychology, the legal system’s attempts to codify, incorporate, explain, and otherwise reckon with emotions have produced many of the law’s most nebulous…
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Countercyclical Regulation and Its Challenges

2015, Past Issues, Print, Volume 47 (2015) Issue 4 (Winter)
Patricia A. McCoy. Historically, U.S. financial regulation has normally been procyclical, with federal regulators and Congress relaxing oversight during bull markets and cracking down once financial crises hit. After 2008, the wisdom of this approach came under attack. Critics argued that procyclical regulation left financial institutions undercapitalized and unable to withstand panics. Other critics asserted that economic downturns could be mitigated and even averted if regulators took steps to puncture asset bubbles. The concept of countercyclical regulation responds to both of these critiques. This new approach posits that financial regulation would be more effective if financial regulation clamped down during financial expansions and lightened up during economic slumps, when banks and other financial services firms are struggling financially and typically are at their most risk- averse. One objective of countercyclical…
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