In the United States, it had been common practice since the late 1960s no to suppress natural forest fires. The “let it burn” policy assumed that forest fire would burn themselves out quickly, without causing much damage. However, in the summer of 1988, forest fires in Yellowstone, the most famous national park in the country, burned for more than two months and spread over a huge area, encompassing more than 800,000 acres. Because of the large scale of the damage, many people called for replacing the “let it burn” policy with a policy of extinguishing forest fires as soon as they appeared. Three kinds of damage caused by the “let it burn” policy were emphasized by critics of the policy.

  First, Yellowstone fires caused tremendous damage to the park’s trees and other vegetation. When the fires finally died out, nearly one third of Yellowstone’s land had been scorched. Trees were charred and blackened from flames and smoke. Smaller plants were entirely incinerated. What had been a national treasure now seemed like a devastated wasteland.

  Second, the park wildlife was affected as well. Large animals like deer and elk were seen fleeing the fire. Many smaller species were probably unable to escape. There was also concern that the destruction of habitats and the disruption of food chains would make it impossible for the animals that survived the fire to return.

  Third, the fires compromised the value of the park as a tourist attraction, which in turn had negative consequences for the local economy. With several thousand acres of the park engulfed in flames, the tourist season was cut short, and a large number of visitors decided to stay away. Of course, local businesses that depended on park visitors suffered as a result.


  Actually fires are natural part of ecological cycle and their role is not just destructive but also creative. That is why the “let it burn” policy is fundamentally a good one, even if it sometimes causes fires of the 1988 Yellowstone fire. Let’s look at what happened after 1988 Yellowstone fire.

  First, vegetation. As you might imagine, scorched areas were in time colonized by new plants. As a matter of fact, the plants in Yellowstone became more diverse because the fire created an opportunity for certain plants that could not grow otherwise. For example, areas where the trees have been destroyed by fire could now be taken over by smaller plants that needed open and shaded space to grow. And another example, seeds of certain plants species won’t germinate unless they’re exposed to very high levels of heat. So, those plants started appearing after the fire as well.

  It’s a similar story with the animals. Not only did their population recover, but the fire also created new opportunities. For instance, the small plants that replaced trees after the fire created an ideal habitat for certain small animals like rabbits and hares. And when rabbits and hares started thriving, so did some predators that depended on them for food. So, certain food chains actually became stronger after the fire than they were before.

  And last, fires like 1988 Yellowstone fire would be a problem for tourism if they happened every year. But they don’t. it was a very unusual combination of factors that year, low rainfall, unusually strong winds, accumulation of dry undergrowth that caused fire to be so massive. This combination has not occurred since and Yellowstone has not seen such a fire since 1988. Visitors came back to the park next year and each year after that.


  Reading Passage

  Main points: The let it burn policy has many kinds damages.

  Sub point 1: The policy leave the park like a wasteland.

  Sub point 2: The policy has affect wildlife seriously.

  Sub point 3: The policy harms the tourism.



  Attitude: The policy actually does good purpose. (Against)

  Sub Point 1: New plants began to grown on wastelands. (Need shade, seed need high heat.)

  Sub Point 2: Better food chains. (Rabbits and hares, small plants.)

  Sub Point 3: The fire only effects tourism in 1988 for unusual weather. (Low rain, Strong wind, Dry)



  Paragraph 1

  In the lecture the professor raises counterarguments to each of the three points mentioned in the reading passage about the damages in Yellowstone National Park caused by the "let it burn" policy. Contrary to the reading, the professor asserts that natural fire is necessary for the ecological cycle and the "let it burn" policy is a good one.


  (Listening passage后文提到用L代替)

  (Reading passage后文用R代替)

  上来第一句话就是告诉大家L准备要从三方面展开反驳,逻辑和R中相反。现在的let it burn政策是生态圈的自然法则而且是有好处的。



  Paragraph 2

  First of all, the article claims that fires cause astronomical damage to trees and vegetation in Yellowstone. The lecturer, by contrast, argues against this view and states that vegetation burned will be replaced with new plants which creates a more diverse environment. For example, the fire can give a chance for smaller plants to grow because it eliminates many tall trees.





  Paragraph 3

  Another crucial point the writer makes is that wildlife is seriously affected by fires, in ways such as the destruction of habitats and the disruption of food chains. The lecturer, however, disagrees with this idea and contends that not only do animals recover after fires but that they are provided with new opportunities because of the fire. For example, smaller plants which appear after the fire form new habitats for animals such as rabbits. The increase of these animals also provides food for their predators, a phenomenon which actually strengthens a food chain.





  Paragraph 4

  Finally, while the author maintains that the fire negatively affects the local economy by reducing the value of Yellowstone's tourist attraction, the professor argues that the fire cannot affect business very seriously because such these kinds of broad destructive fires rarely happen. These fires are the result of a combination of unusual conditions which are unlikely to occur simultaneously. Furthermore, since a fire of this magnitude has not occurred since 1988, it has had a very limited effect on the local economy.






  1、 逻辑结构




  文中用词相当普通但是逻辑架构非常完整,第二第三段中,作者就很简单的用for example来引出证据来支撑刚提出的观点,这点在同学们写作没有灵感时是非常实用的。


  1. Astronomical: 天文的,巨大的


  The cost of a house property in Beijing is astronomical.

  2. Magnitude: 大小,重要,等级

  /Extent/ Level/ Scale/

  The magnitude of this earthquake is an 8.