Earth on fire? No, just Idaho (and a lot not pictured)

August 23, 2013

Photo and press release from NASA’s Earth Observatory:

Image from the astronauts aboard the International Space Station, acquired August 18, 2013 -- 50 mm lens. Looking to the west, over Idaho.

Image from the astronauts aboard the International Space Station, acquired August 18, 2013 — 50 mm lens. Looking to the west, over Idaho. See photo below for labels of fire sites.

Description of the photo:

Taken with a short lens (50 millimeters), this west-looking image from the International Space Station includes much of forested central Idaho. The oblique image highlights part of the largest single wilderness area in the contiguous United States, the Frank Church–River of No Return Wilderness.

Within this mountainous region (the dark areas are all wooded), several fires produced extensive smoke plumes. The densest smoke appeared to be generated by a combination of the Little Queens and Leggit fires (within the Salmon River Mountains [link added]). This image shows the common pattern of westerly winds carrying smoke in an easterly direction, as seen during the wildfire season of one year ago.

Named fires—most ignited by lightning—had burned 53,000 acres of forest south of the Salmon River by August 20, 2013; the number would be significantly higher if unnamed fires were included. The Gold Pan fire, north of the Salmon River, had burned 27,000 acres. For a sense of scale, Gold Pan lies about 125 miles (200 kilometers) north of the Little Queens fire.

Ten days before this image was taken, fires in central Idaho (near Boise) had been aggravated by southerly winds. Some of those fires began to burn in July, but were quelled and remain under observation for new flare-ups.

In the image above, smoke partly obscures the black lava flows of the Craters of the Moon National Monument [link added] (lower left). The Beaverhead Mountains [link added] mark the eastern boundary of Idaho with Montana.

Astronaut photograph ISS036-E-32853 was acquired on August 18, 2013, with a Nikon D3S digital camera using a 50 millimeter lens, and is provided by the ISS Crew Earth Observations experiment and Image Science & Analysis Laboratory, Johnson Space Center. The image was taken by the Expedition 36 crew. It has been cropped and enhanced to improve contrast, and lens artifacts have been removed. The International Space Station Program supports the laboratory as part of the ISS National Lab to help astronauts take pictures of Earth that will be of the greatest value to scientists and the public, and to make those images freely available on the Internet. Additional images taken by astronauts and cosmonauts can be viewed at the NASA/JSC Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth. Caption by M. Justin Wilkinson, Jacobs/JETS at NASA-JSC.

English: Salmon River Mountains, ID

Salmon River Mountains, Idaho, on the ground; notice the steep mountains on-the-ground firefighters must contend with. Wikipedia image

Instrument: ISS – Digital Camera

My older brother Dwight was a firefighter with the Bureau of Land Management in the early 1960s.  There were some huge fires then — but not so many, so large, all at once.  While we don’t have satellite photos to compare from way back then, this is just scary.  Those were scary on the ground, and smaller than these — and fewer.

Notice in the photo below, some of these huge fires are not even big enough to be named.  Wow.

Image from the International Space Station of Idaho fires, with names of larger fires overlayed.  August 23, 2013

Image from the International Space Station of Idaho fires, with names of larger fires overlayed. August 23, 2013

More:

Compare with NASA photo from a month ago; Idaho’s been hammered by fire in 2013:

Photo of Idaho from about July 20, 2013, showing then-active fires in the state -- north at top of photo. Notice Craters of the Moon National Monument, the dark area in the southeast section -- this area is obscured by new fires in the photos above.

Photo of Idaho from about July 20, 2013, showing then-active fires in the state — north at top of photo. Notice Craters of the Moon National Monument, the dark area in the southeast section — this area is obscured by new fires in the photos above. Idaho’s borders are barely visible in a thin, black line.  This photo from NASA/Goddard


Boy Scouts talk with President Obama in the White House

July 13, 2010

President Obama and Boys Scouts in Oval Office, July 12, 2010

President Barack Obama shakes hands with a young Cub Scout, during a meeting with representatives from the Boy Scouts, in the Oval Office, July 12, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

I suspect this was a press release from BSA, which I found at the Cracker Barrel, a blog for Scouting Magazine:

BSA representatives meet with Obama to discuss top concerns for nation’s youth

A group of Boy Scouts of America youth members and executive leaders met with President Barack Obama today to discuss top priorities for the organization’s next century of service.

During the White House meeting, the president and the BSA delegation shared their mutual goals for addressing key concerns for our nation’s youth: healthy living, service to the community, and environmental stewardship.

Obama has shown his support for each of these issues by introducing three relevant programs: Let’s Move!, United We Serve, and America’s Great Outdoors.

As has been the case with every U.S. president since William Howard Taft, Obama serves as the Honorary President of the BSA and helps recognize the achievements of more than 50,000 Eagle Scouts each year by signing their Eagle Scout cards.

Obama’s three initiatives match several concerns not just for the BSA but also for the entire country, said Chief Scout Executive Bob Mazzuca.

“Health, community service, and preserving our environment are priorities for all Americans,” Mazzuca said. “Our first 100 years in Scouting taught us the importance of these issues to America’s youth; our next century of Scouting will focus on creating programs to expand our efforts in these areas.”

To show its commitment to these issues and in honor of the BSA’s 100th Anniversary, the organization presented Obama and the first lady, Michelle Obama, with two camperships for Scouts in their home councils. These scholarships will help two Scouts attend summer camp: one each from the Aloha Area and Chicago Area councils.

While at summer camp, these two deserving Scouts will see first-hand how much fun it is to stay active in the outdoors and learn how preserving our environment is critical in today’s world.

The camperships were presented by the youth members of the BSA’s delegation. This group was made up of young people who represent several of the BSA’s programs. Eagle Scout Brad Lichota, national Order of the Arrow chief, led the youth members.

Others were Cub Scout Raphael Cash from Bowie, Md.; Venturer Shannon Hoff from Falls Church, Va.; Sea Scout M. Robert Marks Jr. from Pittsburgh, Pa.; and Boy Scout Arnold Mears from Parkville, Md.

The photo came from the White House‘s website, separate from the press release.

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Boy Scouts Centennial: Dan Beard and Ed Dodd

June 21, 2010

Dan Beard, a founder of Boy Scouts of America, and cartoonist Ed Dodd, photo dated (incorrectly) February 14, 1950 – Georgia State University Library Photography Collection, Atlanta Area Photographs from the Lane Brothers and Tracy O’Neal Collections

Dan Beard, a founder of Boy Scouts of America, and cartoonist Ed Dodd, photo dated (incorrectly) February 14, 1950 – Georgia State University Library Photography Collection, Atlanta Area Photographs from the Lane Brothers and Tracy O’Neal Collections

Daniel Carter Beard was best known as an illustrator of children’s adventure books.  He founded a group for boys, the Sons of Daniel Boone, in 1905.  That group was merged into the Boy Scouts of America at BSA’s founding in 1910.

Ed Dodd (November 7, 1902 – May 27, 1991) was an illustrator and cartoonist, probably best known for his comic strip “Mark Trail,” which is still carried in many newspapers today.

According to his listing at Wikipedia:

Ed Dodd went to work for Dan Beard, founder of the Boy Scouts of America, at the age of 16. Dodd worked at Beard’s camp in Pennsylvania for thirteen summers, where he honed his writing and illustration skills under Beard’s guidance. Dodd became a scoutmaster and the first paid Youth and Physical Education Director for the city of Gainesville, Georgia.

Another story of Scouting providing a career for a kid, another story of Scouting providing a career for an illustrator (see also Norman Rockwell, and the Csataris).

Dodd was a Georgian.  This photograph, dated February 14, 1950, shows a meeting of the two illustrators, with Dodd appearing older than the 16 he was when he first met Beard.  The photo is in the collections of the Georgia State University Library, in the Atlanta Area Photographs from the Lane Brothers and Tracy O’Neal Collections.  We might assume it was taken in Georgia, perhaps at Dodd’s “Lost Forest” home and workshop.

We know that can’t be the right date, however, since Dan Beard died in 1941.

Who can shed more light on this bit of history?

Updates:  See comments below — among other things, we know that the February 14, 1950 date was the date that a duplicate negative was made.  Please note in comments if you have further details.

More:

Mark Trail strip on NOAA's 200th-2D-MarkTrail650

Click on image: Marke Trail on NOAA’s 200th anniversary; King Features Syndicate

Ed Dodd and others in his studio at Lost Forest, Georgia, drawing the comic strip Mark Trail - Wikimedia

Dodd and others working on “Mark Trail”: The Mark Trail studio was on the second floor of Ed Dodd’s Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home in the Lost Forest at the Atlanta suburb of Sandy Springs, Georgia. At work are (l. to r.) Ed Dodd, Jack Elrod, Tom Hill and Rhett Carmichael. The 130-acre Lost Forest was the model for the fictional Lost Forest National Forest in the strip. Dodd’s house was located on Marsh Creek, a tributary of the Chattahoochee River. Wikimedia photo and caption

  • Sadly, Dodd’s Lost Forest was completely burned in 1996.  I can find no information on any of the studio surviving the fire (anyone know differently?).   Dodd was honored in 1991 with the naming of the Mark Trail Wilderness Area, in the Chattahoochee National Forest.
  • According to the official information at King Features Syndicate, Jack Elrod first assisted Dodd, then in 1978 took over the creative writing and drawing of the strip when Dodd retired and Tom Hill, who had done the Sunday strips, died.  Elrod was a Boy Scout when he first met Dodd, in Dodd’s role as Scoutmaster.  The Scouting links are strong in this strip.

Tip of the old scrub brush to Chamblee54, for showing the way to the Georgia State University photographs.

[Editor’s note: Georgia State Library keeps changing the link url on the photograph; if you find a higher resolution version, please, please let us know where it is!]


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