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The Barren Lands

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Re: The Barren Lands
Post by MikeT   » Fri May 04, 2018 1:34 am

MikeT
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thanatos wrote:A lot of what you say relies upon assumptions not backed by textev. The only textev we have is the name of the place, what we know about Shan-wei terraforming expedition (resources she discovered) and the fact that the Barren Lands are even less of a blip on the radar than Trellheim.

You assume that the islands have potable water. You assume that there are good anchorages around the islands for a naval base. You assume that one could bring enough stored water and enough agricultural resources could be shipped there to give any potential colonists the time to set up a sustainable colony. Utah had the benefit of still being attached by land to more habitable parts of the country, with the possibility of food, livestock and water being transported in (especially with the advent of the railroad). Australia had a small native population that managed to find ways to gather the food and water they needed in order to survive (and the Europeans that came later could build upon that).

There was very little in to way of "Aboriginal agriculture" in Australia when Europeans arrived. They didn't find anything at all to "build upon" and in fact imposed an Old World system of agriculture on a continent not suited to it. The Aboriginal people managed their lands through fire, and that suited some food species, and there is evidence they managed food sources such as cycads through both fire and other intervention. Australians have come to realise the value of Aboriginal land management through fire- mosaic burning, but that has more impact in forest management, and even Americans are coming to view Australian forest management through fire with a more favourable viewpoint, after many years of fire exclusion policy there, which has proved disastrous.
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Re: The Barren Lands
Post by n7axw   » Fri May 04, 2018 12:22 pm

n7axw
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MikeT wrote:
thanatos wrote:A lot of what you say relies upon assumptions not backed by textev. The only textev we have is the name of the place, what we know about Shan-wei terraforming expedition (resources she discovered) and the fact that the Barren Lands are even less of a blip on the radar than Trellheim.

You assume that the islands have potable water. You assume that there are good anchorages around the islands for a naval base. You assume that one could bring enough stored water and enough agricultural resources could be shipped there to give any potential colonists the time to set up a sustainable colony. Utah had the benefit of still being attached by land to more habitable parts of the country, with the possibility of food, livestock and water being transported in (especially with the advent of the railroad). Australia had a small native population that managed to find ways to gather the food and water they needed in order to survive (and the Europeans that came later could build upon that).

There was very little in to way of "Aboriginal agriculture" in Australia when Europeans arrived. They didn't find anything at all to "build upon" and in fact imposed an Old World system of agriculture on a continent not suited to it. The Aboriginal people managed their lands through fire, and that suited some food species, and there is evidence they managed food sources such as cycads through both fire and other intervention. Australians have come to realise the value of Aboriginal land management through fire- mosaic burning, but that has more impact in forest management, and even Americans are coming to view Australian forest management through fire with a more favourable viewpoint, after many years of fire exclusion policy there, which has proved disastrous.


The difficulty with this is that there is a mentality of letting nature take its course. Nearly burned down Old Faithful Inn in Yellowstone that way a while back.

Controlled burns, on the other hand, are a valuable tool for forest management. The thing is do it before the underbrush gets out of hand and you get a real conflageon.

Don

-
When any group seeks political power in God's name, both religion and politics are instantly corrupted.
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Re: The Barren Lands
Post by MikeT   » Sun May 06, 2018 1:42 am

MikeT
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Posts: 4
Joined: Fri May 04, 2018 12:58 am

Don,
There's a big difference between "letting nature takings its course" and controlled burning. The problem with North American practice has been total fire exclusion, when Native Americans burned regularly, which cleared the underbrush which causes firestorms which kill the forest. It is similar in Australia, although we have one type of forest, wet sclerophyll, which has evolved to commit suicide every 100-120 years in massive firestorms. The mountain ash is an obligate seeder: unlike other eucalypts it has no lignotuber from which to sprout and it rarely coppices. It can only regenerate from a crown fire. Unfortunately the wet forests will only burn on days of extreme fire danger since they grow in high rainfall areas, so controlled (or fuel reduction) burning is nearly impossible. The problem for the Victorian forests has been large fires which are more frequent than the trees can cope with- because they're not reaching maturity before being killed- they have no seed.
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Re: The Barren Lands
Post by ywing14   » Sun May 06, 2018 8:32 pm

ywing14
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Posts: 109
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MikeT wrote:Don,
There's a big difference between "letting nature takings its course" and controlled burning. The problem with North American practice has been total fire exclusion, when Native Americans burned regularly, which cleared the underbrush which causes firestorms which kill the forest. It is similar in Australia, although we have one type of forest, wet sclerophyll, which has evolved to commit suicide every 100-120 years in massive firestorms. The mountain ash is an obligate seeder: unlike other eucalypts it has no lignotuber from which to sprout and it rarely coppices. It can only regenerate from a crown fire. Unfortunately the wet forests will only burn on days of extreme fire danger since they grow in high rainfall areas, so controlled (or fuel reduction) burning is nearly impossible. The problem for the Victorian forests has been large fires which are more frequent than the trees can cope with- because they're not reaching maturity before being killed- they have no seed.


When I lived in North Carolina they did controlled burns all the time. I also saw them in Louisiana when I lived there. I definitely agree they don't do them enough but it's done in the USA.
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Re: The Barren Lands
Post by n7axw   » Sun May 06, 2018 10:48 pm

n7axw
Fleet Admiral

Posts: 5001
Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2014 8:54 pm
Location: Viborg, SD

ywing14 wrote:
MikeT wrote:Don,
There's a big difference between "letting nature takings its course" and controlled burning. The problem with North American practice has been total fire exclusion, when Native Americans burned regularly, which cleared the underbrush which causes firestorms which kill the forest. It is similar in Australia, although we have one type of forest, wet sclerophyll, which has evolved to commit suicide every 100-120 years in massive firestorms. The mountain ash is an obligate seeder: unlike other eucalypts it has no lignotuber from which to sprout and it rarely coppices. It can only regenerate from a crown fire. Unfortunately the wet forests will only burn on days of extreme fire danger since they grow in high rainfall areas, so controlled (or fuel reduction) burning is nearly impossible. The problem for the Victorian forests has been large fires which are more frequent than the trees can cope with- because they're not reaching maturity before being killed- they have no seed.


When I lived in North Carolina they did controlled burns all the time. I also saw them in Louisiana when I lived there. I definitely agree they don't do them enough but it's done in the USA.


Out in Montana where I grew up, there is always an argument about which fires are caused by human carelessness and those caused by nature -- lightening strikes, etc. They will go after the human caused fires, but let nature take its course on the others.

I suppose there are arguments for that, but I do think that controlled burns would be a better way to go.

Don

-
When any group seeks political power in God's name, both religion and politics are instantly corrupted.
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