Page 2 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, September 6, 1985
Fire is important to ecology,
=RENO, Nev. (AP) - The managers
of America's national parks and
forests are gradually accepting forest
and range fires, once viewed as a
nMajor threat, as a vital part of the
The fires that have raged through
the West might not have been so
damaging had man not spent decades
quenching every blaze, the experts
say. Without occasional fires, they
maintain, forests and ranges become
choked with overabundant vegetation
that can provide too much fuel when
fire does occur.
SO FAR this year, more than 81,000
fires have burned almost 3 million
acres in the United States, Arnold
Hartigan, public affairs officer for the
Boise Inter-Agency Fire Center in
idaho, said yesterday. As many as 1.7
imillion acres of that total have been
burned in the West alone since June
27, he estimated.
By comparison, some 35,500 fires
that burned 1.3 million acres were
reported in all of 1984 in the United
States, Hartigan said, adding that
1985 is probably the worst year for
fires in the last 25 years.
In canada, 8,580 fires have scorched
approximately 1.66 million acres this
year, most of them in the country's
western provinces, Hartigan said.
ALTHOUGH the fire season
generally runs from June to mid-
October, it can continue into Decem-
ber in warmer areas like California.
Recognizing that fires near
inhabited areas are unacceptable, the
experts say fires are desirable under
controlled conditions in more remote
"Fires actually rejuvenate
forests," says John Swanson.
"They've shaped the forests we see
Swanson is the fire management of-
ficer for the U.S. Forest Service's
Carson Ranger District, in Carson
City, Nev., one of five districts
responsible for the sprawling Toiyabe
National Forest. With more than 4
million acres, it is the largest national
forest in the lower 48 states.
Ironically, Swanson is also paid to
set forest fires.
Research using fire scars from
petrified wood and ancient timber
along with pollen and charcoal
deposits on pond bottoms shows fires
in forests and ranges have been
around for a long time, he said.
OVER THE centuries, vegetation
as well as wildlife has adapted to fire.
The Ponderosa and Jeffrey pines
that prevail in the Sierra Nevada
range running north-south along
California's eastern border were
nature's choice to endure searing
fires, Swanson said.
The trees survived because of deep
tap roots sucking water below the
forest floor, a thick, corky bark to
protect its living interior and quick
production of cones and seeds.
"THERE'S A whole list of brush
species and tree species that have
adaptation that allow them to survive
fires," he said.
Fire promotes decomposition of
debris, returning nutrients to the soil
for the next generation of vegetation,
Swanson said. On the range, fires help
maintain the balance between woody
plants, such as sagebrush, and
The Indians used fire to hunt game,
to clear farming lands and to defeat
When the Western lands eventually
became a resource for timber, mining
and agriculture, fire turned into the
settler's enemy. The park and forest
services continued that way of
thinking in the 19th century.
"A few heretics" in forest
management began questioning con-
tinual fire suppression a few decades
ago, Swanson said. Their viewpoint
has gradually gained support among
those responsible for managing
"To say 'All fire is bad, so let's
eliminate it,' is along the same lines
as saying, 'You'll eliminate floods by
getting rid of all water,' " Swanson
Compiled from Associated Press and
United Press International reports
Car sales skyrocket
DETROIT - The cut-rate financing war among domestic automakers
pushed car sales in late August to 71 percent above the rate for a year
ago, shattering all records for the period, according to company reports -
The Big Three posted spectacular gains over last year's Aug. 21-31 per
formance, with Ford Motor Co.'s sales up 79.6 percent, General Motors
Corp.'s up 73.6 percent and Chrysler Corp.'s up 76.1 percent.
"They're a boomer. I don't think anybody was predicting this. It's
amazing," said Gary Glaser, an automotive industry analyst with First
Boston Corp. in New York.
The performance put sales for the month fo August at 23.4 percent.
ahead of a year ago.
Showroom traffic had been falling this summer and a Teamsters Union
car haulers strike cut deliveries to dealers for three weeks. But on Aug.
15, GM offered a fixed 7.7 percent interest rate on leftover 1985 models,
sparking the financing war.
Farm Credit System
faces severe crisis
WASHINGTON - The Farm Credit System, the nation's largest farm
lender is facing its most severe crisis since the Depression and could be
forced to begin liquidating within two years unless the federal gover-.;
nment comes to the rescue, the system's top regulatory official saidr
Donald Wilkinson, governor of the Farm Credit Administration, said
increased losses in the system's mortgage lending arm will result this
year in the first operating loss since the 1930s for the 37-bank, $74 billion
Wilkinson said at a news conference that he will begin exploring with
Congress and the Reagan administration ways in which the government.
can help the system survive a severe crunch expected to hit within 18 to
Students and Computers at The University of Michigan
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 12
Anderson Room - First Floor Michigan Union
VETERAN USHERS - people who have worked past concerts
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NEW USHERS - people who would like to work
7:45 - 8:30
Chicago strike ends;
local talks continue
Monday, September 9
7 pm to 9 pm
Angell Hall - Auditorium B
Sponsored by the Michigan Student Assembly (MSA), the Office of the Vice President
for Student Services and the Information Technology Division
- Paul Josephson, President, Michigan Student Assembly
" Henry Johnson, Vice President for Student Services
" Douglas Van Houweling, Vice Provost for Information Technology
. Carl Berger, Dean, School of Education
" Jeff Ogden, Associate Director, Computing Center
" Jill Joseph, Professor, School of Public Health
" Jeffery Bass, Visiting Professor, School of Music
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Classes began yesterday for Chicago's 431,000 public school students
following a two-day teachers strike, but walkouts in seven states
prolonged summer vacations for 140,000 other students, including 50,000
In Chicago, the nation's third largest district, teachers and parents
were relieved and students resigned at the news of a contract settlement.
The walkout, which cost students one day of classes, was the third in as
"I think everyone realizes it's time to get, serious and get going," said
first-grade teacher Joyce Shalette.
A tentative agreement between the Chicago Teachers Union and school
board officials came Wednesday after a 30-hour bargaining session
mediated by James Reilly, chief of staff for Gov. James Thompson.
Reagan resumes tax
RALEIGH, N.C. - President Reagan resumed his campaign for an
overhaul of the income tax system yesterday, playing the underdog
challenging the vested interests he says are the enemies of change.
"The special interests may think they have this one locked up tight, and
we may be starting this battle for tax fairness as underdogs," Reagan
told more than 13,000 students and faculty members at North Carolina
But Reagan said he wanted to remind "the nay sayers, people who tell
you it can't be done. .. that this is America, and there are no limits ex-
cept those we put on ourselves."
"A lot of cynics in Washington are laying odds against our fair share
tax plan," Reagan said. "Our plan has too many enemies, they say,
enemies among those with a vested interest in the status quo - 'status
quo,' that's-Latin for the mess we call the present income tax."
Artificial heart patient
suffers minor strokes
TUCSON, Ariz. - Michael Drummond, the world's latest and youngest
artificial heart recipient, has suffered a series of tiny strokes, and:
surgeons have begun searching for a human heart to give him, it was an-'
Dr. Jack Copeland said it appeared that Drummond suffered no per-
manent brain damage from the strokes and said he was listed in critical'
and unstable condition.
Several other recipients of the Jarvik-7 heart have suffered strokes as"
About 7 a.m. yesterday, surgeons noticed that Drummond was slurring
his words and stuttering. A neurological exam showed that his motor"
ability had been affected.
Drummond appeared to have suffered "multiple tiny strokes" yesterday
morning, Copeland said.
Copeland said they have begun a nationwide search for a donor heart-
and hope to locate one within a few days.
Drummond, 25, received the artificial heart in implant surgery Aug. 29,
at University Medical Center.
Copeland, who headed the surgical team, has said the device would be
used a bridge to sustain Drummond's life until he underwent human
heart transplant surgery.
01heMIibigan 1 aE Hig
Vol XCVI- No. 2
The Michigan Daily (ISSN 0745-967 X) is published Monday through
Friday during the Fall and Winter terms and Tuesday through Saturday
during the Spring and Summer terms by students at the University of
Michigan. Subscription rates: through April - $10.00 in Ann Arbor; $20.00
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through Sat., Sept 14.
A H N"- A R Q O R
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336 Maynard Ann Arbor 769-8511, M-TH 10-7, Fri. 10-9 Sat. 10-6
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U N i o N . 8 A BRITTAKIA
Editor in Chief....................NEIL CHASE
Opinion Page Editor..........JOSEPH KRAUS
Managing Editors........GEORGEA KOVANIS
News Editor ................. THOMAS MILLER
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NEWS STAFF: Jody Becker, Laura Bischoff, Nancy
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kami, Christy Reidel, Stacey Shonk, Katie Wilcox.
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deFrances, Joe Devyak, Rachel Goldman, Skip
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Morgan, Jerry Muth, Adam Ochlis, Mike Redstone,
Scott Shaffer, Howard Solomon.
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