Well-meaning folks say “it’s coming back isn’t it?” Good LORD NO!
Sure, aspens and post-fire weeds and such bounce right back, but a forest that has stood for centuries doesn’t just bounce back. Rather, it stands as a blackened corpse. It’s like having your dead relatives in the living room long after the wake folks; out on the living room table. They still smell, they are dangerous to be around (winds now threaten life daily wherever you go, and the snowdrifts are impossible to get through in anything less than a snowcat), and they are awful to look at.
Thanks to Racher Resource Management, we have moved heavy equipment in and have started the cleanup. Making a mess now to have a prettier future. This is heart breaking as we are cutting trees that I have known for a lifetime. The side of the ranch that burned was our managed, carefully groomed side. Many of these trees were carefully selected to last for generations; now they are just being cut to reduce the hazard and get the lumber out of them.
It is my intention to create as much high alpine meadow as I possibly can. Control erosion up here at the top of the problem. Bad flooding has happened in the Pecos Canyon below us; we have one road blown out, topsoil is gone and bare rock everywhere, but we have survived that part so far. It’s a moonscape with burned trees…when we cut them it makes even more of a mess. More on the whole process later on!