As we headed north and left the Grand Canyon National Park, we entered the Kaibab National Forest. The area has been co-managed by the Park Service and the Forest Service since the early 1900’s. Logging, then grazing have been part of the history of this area, with evidence of both readily apparent. Early settlers included the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (the Mormons).
Another interesting aspect of this area is the efforts to make it into a game preserve or private hunting club dating back to the late 1800’s. Buffalo Bill Cody was involved https://centerofthewest.org/2017/11/17/points-west-north-rim-adventure/
There is also a fascinating story of attempts led by Teddy Roosevelt to increase the mule deer population. This “Kaibab Deer” experiment went horribly awry. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaibab_Plateau
So that brings us to fire. Through some combination of logging, overgrazing, and fire suppression (Smokey the Bear), the north rim has been subject to many fires since 2000. We hiked through several fire affected segments.
The first segment we hit was 20 years old and was still looking damaged, but was regenerating
Then we were rerouted from a single track trail to a forest service road for several miles to avoid a fire damaged canyon (with potential flash flood risk) from the “Mangum Fire” from last year. This more recent fire showed the immediate aftermath of a very hot fire
But, on a positive note, there were already signs of regeneration
Hard to know what to make of fire, other than it seems good in small doses.
These massive fires seem to be a reaction to an unbalanced system where mother nature takes charge to bring things back to where they belong.
Fascinated by fire,