Comments about ‘As Utah's biggest and oldest resident, 'he' may be dying’

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Published: Monday, June 9 2014 11:10 a.m. MDT

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Oh Really?
HERRIMAN, UT

Golly, John, at least be consistent. Blame man, and then say, "The prime suspects are grazing cattle, foraging wildlife, competing vegetation and unnatural suppression of fire, all of which may have interfered with the growth of sprouts." Two of the four are not caused by man. If there is a link to man, then explain, don't just blame.

The Rock
Federal Way, WA

So an area was clear cut and now over grown with new young Aspen trees and sprouts.
Sounds like man needs to do more of this.

Species come and go all the time. Their ranges expand, contract or simply change.
Pardon me if I don't get really upset over these really old Aspen trees dying. With old trees dying and new "sprouts" coming up to replace them, I guess on one level it is the same organism, but is it really?

I have had the same ax for 40 years. I replace the handle twice and the head three times.
I have also had the same computer for 20 years. Replaced the motherboard 6 times, the dives several times as well, and the case 4 times.

NT
SomewhereIn, UT

I'll be watching the obituaries for Pando. I'm sure it will say something like "Instead of flowers, please consider purchasing a few extra carbon credits."

Maybe I'll attend the viewing.

liberal larry
salt lake City, utah

If anyone has any doubts that wild lands should be kept out of local control please read the comments to this article!

Old but wise
Alpine, UT

Poor Liberal Larry. We must be more careful about how we express ourselves. What a bunch of nonsense. People, it is all about Agenda 21 and putting "mother earth" before humans and limiting human populations to selected metropolitan areas in dense populations.

kiddsport
Fairview, UT

It seems we have lost the concept of the scientific process. We study, hypothesize, test hypothesis, then report the results to a peer review. The general populace does not constitute a peer review. The clear-cutting of a section may have been controversial but shouldn't weigh on the peer review of trained biologists.
Here's my hypothesis but it is probably beyond the scope of most people's attention span: the factors determining grove health are multiple and intertwined. They include competition with conifers, grazing by both domestic cattle and wildlife, climatic changes, failure to thin the grove and wildfire suppression which expose the grove to disease. By allowing some factors to take their "natural course" while artificially controlling others without concern for their ultimate effect, what other adverse outcome can you expect?

RG
Buena Vista, VA

How do we know it is the world's largest living thing? Maybe better to say, the largest KNOWN living thing. There may be other groves of genetically identical trees that are even bigger, that have not yet been discovered.

The Authority
Richfield, UT

Fire suppression seems the likely cause. Through 80,000 years, Pando was likely subject to hundreds of fires that consumed older, dead trees, clearing the way for younger ones. However, in the past 100 years or so, fires have not been allowed to burn in the Fish Lake Basin.
It seems the area that was clear cut is now regenerating. Perhaps that's the answer, clear cut it in a mosaic pattern over the next 20 years and allow it to regenerate.
Too often people think that land management means leave it alone and don't let anything happen. The problem is that if it's to be managed, it needs to be done in a proactive way, or in a way that doesn't allow nature to run its course.

Howard Beal
Provo, UT

What fire does is clean out the competition that the sprouts would have. Clear cutting would help but there are other factors. Also, it appears we probably need to harvest more deer and elk in the area keep the cattle away from the aspens if all possible. It will be a multi-prong approach. Undoubtedly human contact has effected the growth and health of this organism, but it doesn't need to be fatal and humans could be part of the solution to restore the health of Pando.

The Rock
Federal Way, WA

@liberal larry

"If anyone has any doubts that wild lands should be kept out of local control please read the comments to this article!"

With liberals it is never about preserving the wilderness. It is about control. Just and King John seized all the deer in the Kings forest, so our government is depriving us of access to our own public lands. Not only are they doing that but they are attempting to keep people from using their own private property.

You simply cannot allow people to be self reliant if you are to impose socialism upon them. Everyone must be dependent upon the government for their jobs, food, clothing, heat and most importantly medical care.

If they are dependent upon government, government owns them.

jcobabe
Provo, UT

Birth, reproduction, and death are well known to be the perpetual cycle for all living organisms, and all are deserving of an equal attitude of reverence toward life. Suggesting that some unknown external influence must be hastening the senescence of "Pando" is probably unwarranted. Citing the parameters that characterize this particular grove of trees as some sort of remarkable collective lifeform is also trite and silly. All organisms exist in communities of some kind and contribute to the perpetuation of their species, whether or not their biomass happens to be physically interconnected in some way. There is no particular metaphysical element unique to a grove of Aspens that makes them any more magic than any other species of living creature.

I would suggest that if management is deemed desirable, cutting down old specimens to promote new growth is a demonstrated effective approach to rejuvenating the stand.

Osgrath
Provo, UT

Funny how people are able to politicize the development of an aspen growth. Heaven forbid that we assign any responsibility to humans. So despite some rocky suspicions of a monarchist power play to deprive people of their right to access public land (in all my drives through the area I have never once seen barriers or even signs forbidding me from traipsing across the landscape, so maybe people in Federal Way knows something I do not? Then we have some codger talking about an Agenda 21 conspiracy trying to compel urbanization on the populace.

You know, the extreme view is usually the least useful. This is basically a no-brainer. Let the natural course of fire support the natural course of growth, allow enough hunting permits to control the deer population, encourage grazing outside of the stand (the article mentions the ranchers have already been cooperative). If some very minor changes don't solve the problem, then we have to accept that Pando's time is up. But people, it is not a liberal threat when we work together to make our planet a nice place to live, especially when it does not limit any industry or population growth.

environmental idiot
Sanpete, UT

There is tons of data from the GBES that say the best management for aspen is abuse. Logging and fire stimulate reproduction. Conifer forest is the biggest threat to aspen since aspen is very dependent on sunlight which conifers block. Fire suppression is not an issue in this place. There have been no fires there to suppress. Maybe it's time to read all the data written about making aspen and apply it rather than dreaming up unfounded theories.

John Locke
Ivins, , UT

Plant one aspen tree, and 20 years later you can have a small forest in your own backyard...my Dad gave me used the job of chopping the small trees down to the root and pouring gasoline on the root...it didn't do much good, but kept me busy for several summers out of school...and my Dad paid me $.25 an hour. Big money to a tween ager...

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