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Creek Running North
September 07, 2005
A little preview
I'm working on an article for the Earth Island Journal on this year's desert fires. (I start working on the flood article as soon as I'm done. It's just a basket of rose petals and happy goddamn kittens in my brain these days.) As part of the research for that fires article I spent some of yesterday on the phone with Julio Betancourt of the Desert Laboratory in Tucson.
Betancourt is someone whose work I've known of for some time. I shelled out a bunch of cash, for instance, to pick up this little piece of light reading for the benefit of one of the chapters of my Joshua tree book. He's friendly guy, and a cautious scientist. He told me yesterday "ask anyone who's worked with me: I'm not the kind of guy who goes around handwaving and resorting to hyperbole."
I asked him yesterday what he though the impact of invasive plants and consequent fire regime changes would be for the Sonoran desert in our lifetimes. His response:
"I can bring it closer than that. I think that within five or ten years, people will look back at 2005 as the year we lost the Sonoran Desert."