The ancient Roman architect Vitruvius conceived of three primary virtues for structures: beauty, utility, and firmitas, a term that can be translated as permanence. Naturally, buildings can’t be crafted to last through time immemorial. What is permanence if even stone monuments wear away into sand?
Moreover, as Washington State University architecture professor Ayad Rahmani asks in this issue’s essay, maybe the longevity of structures should be questioned. Rahmani writes about Frank Lloyd Wright’s organic view of buildings and their inevitable decay, and that we should perhaps consider their “measured return to the earth.”
We don’t really expect our buildings to last forever, but we rely … » More …
A silent slow burn consumes thousands of acres of Washington State every year and the tribal lands are no exception to this burn. This burn isn’t caused by a wildfire and doesn’t produce any visible smoke. It’s the encroachment of invasive species as they slowly consume native and beneficial vegetation.
Tribes in the Pacific Northwest rely heavily upon natural resources for income generation and sustaining a way of life. There are significant wildlife, agriculture, and rangeland impacts to the Tribal lands.
(The video below was produced by Nathan Moses-Gonzales, M3 Consulting Group.)
Read about Native prescribed fire practices.
Wildfires affect many aspects of a community beyond the charred and devastated landscape. During a major blaze, residents must deal with smoke, fire retardants, evacuations, power outages, disrupted supply chains, and more.
Often forgotten in the equation are the damaging effects wildfire has on domestic animals. Smoke-induced respiratory problems, exposure to firefighting chemicals, and injuries from running through barbed-wire fences are common.
Linda McLean, WSU Extension director for the Colville Reservation helps residents prepare for wildfire season through public workshops and a variety of fire-related resources. She urges all pet and livestock owners to create an emergency evacuation plan for the safe transportation and shelter … » More …
Smoke truly gets under the skin of wine grapes.
As microscopic particles and liquid droplets ooze and eddy through the vineyard, grapes are coated with toxic chemicals. Worse, smoke from forest and range fires manages to get into the plant itself, wreaking havoc with the plant’s internal chemistry.
In self-defense, grape vines attempt to sequester toxic smoke particles that infiltrate berries and leaves by binding sugar molecules to the offending invaders. The plant can then metabolically shuffle the sugar-trapped particles into places where the smoke won’t be as harmful to the vines’ mission: produce grapes and reproduce.
Humans interfere with the vines’ mission when we … » More …