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    Author(s): Brandon M. Collins; Scott L. Stephens; Robert A. York
    Date: 2019
    Source: Tree Rings. 29: 7-9
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Pacific Southwest Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (2.0 MB)


    Forest management in much of the Sierra Nevada has undergone a significant redirection in recent decades. Prior to this, fire was largely absent from many foresters’ credo; it was neither considered as a tool for management nor viewed as an inherent ecological component for sustaining basic forest processes. Yet fire has been a part of these forests for millennia, and its removal has slowly but markedly changed forests in unintended ways. The cumulative effects of removing fire for over 100 years are manifested in the large and uncharacteristically severe fires that are now happening annually. Additionally, the recent drought in California spotlighted another major vulnerability of Sierra Nevada forests, large-scale tree mortality from bark beetles and possibly other yet-unseen insect and pathogen outbreaks. While climate certainly had a role in recent fire and tree mortality events, current forest conditions are undoubtedly contributing to both. Our great challenge in Sierra Nevada forests is to reintroduce the role once played by fire – a fundamental ecosystem process, while also considering the reality of social, ecological, and economic constraints that exist in California. This means proactively trying and constantly evaluating all possible management approaches. In this article we present findings from a robust study of different approaches to reducing wildfire hazard in these historically fire-adapted forests.

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    Collins, Brandon M.; Stephens, Scott L.; York, Robert A. 2019. Perspectives from a long-term study of fuel reduction and forest restoration in the Sierra Nevada. Tree Rings. 29: 7-9.


    fire exclusion, mixed conifer forest, Blodgett Forest

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