Stephanie B. Jeffries: Free the Phoenix: Fire and Rebirth in Linville Gorge

Controversy rages over fire policy in Linville Gorge, which was the first designated Federal Wilderness in the East with the passage of the Wilderness Act in 1964. Currently, the policy is to suppress any fires that threaten manmade structures, but to allow lower-intensity lightning-strike fires to burn. The latest management plan proposes prescribed burns in the Gorge to promote pines and rare plants and to reduce fuel loads. Homeowners in the Gingercake Acres development, perched on the eastern rim of the Gorge, understandably worry about risk to their homes. Advocacy organizations like Save the Linville Gorge Wilderness argue that fire destroys the wild character of the landscape. Skeptics scoff that the Forest Service maintains only an illusion of control over something as unpredictable and powerful as fire. Continue Reading Stephanie B. Jeffries: Free the Phoenix: Fire and Rebirth in Linville Gorge

The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire: March 25, 1911

As a continuation of our series of posts on National Women’s History Month, today’s post will be about an event from 99 years ago today–the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City. While horrific–146 workers, mostly poor Italian, German, and Jewish women between the ages of eight and twenty perished–the fire at Triangle Shirtwaist… Continue Reading The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire: March 25, 1911