Forest Service Survey Finds Record 66 Million Dead Trees in Southern Sierra Nevada

VALLEJO, CALIF., JUNE 22, 2016 AT 2:30 PM EDT -The U.S. Forest Service today announced that it has identified an additional 26 million trees dead in California since October 2015. These trees are located in six counties across 760,000 acres in the southern Sierra Nevada region of the state, and are in addition to the 40 million trees that died statewide from 2010 to October 2015, bringing the total to at least 66 million dead trees. Four consecutive years of severe drought in California, a dramatic rise in bark beetle infestation and warmer temperatures are leading to historic levels of tree die-off.

New handbook guides development of biomass utilization businesses

usfs logoBiomass utilization can fund restoration, create jobs in rural communities

PORTLAND, Ore. April 19, 2017. In the Western United States, a small-diameter log and biomass utilization business can help fund active management and restoration efforts and provide rural communities with much-needed jobs. So what should businesses, forest managers, community groups, and others interested in turning the byproducts of forest management into a profitable enterprise consider?

new online handbook published by the U.S. Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest Research Station offers guidance. The publication, Community Biomass Handbook Volume 4: Enterprise Development for Integrated Wood Manufacturing, takes a collaborative approach to enterprise development and recognizes the important role of partnerships and land managers in developing sustainable wood products businesses. The guidance is particularly relevant to communities and businesses near public lands.

Obama Administration’s Lack of Wildfire Strategy Keeps Communities At Risk

house nrWashington, D.C. – White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Shaun Donovan and U.S. Forest Service (FS) leadership today hosted a national media call on wildfire activity in California and nationally. House Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) issued the following statement in response to the Administration’s flawed and lackluster priorities related to improving forest health and mitigating increasingly catastrophic wildfire:

Post-fire logging can reduce fuels for up to 40 years in regenerating forests, new study finds

usfs-logoWoody fuels reduced even when fuel reduction was not primary management objective

WENATCHEE, Wash. March 11, 2015. Harvesting fire-killed trees is an effective way to reduce woody fuels for up to four decades following wildfire in dry coniferous forests, a U.S. Forest Service study has found.

The retrospective analysis, among the first to measure the long-term effects of post-fire logging on forest fuels, is published in the journal Forest Ecology and Management.

Sierra Nevada forest health in rapid decline: drought adding fuel to the fire

A new report released this week shows that many Sierra Nevada forests are in critical condition and that natural benefits that these forests provide, such as clean air and water, are at risk from large, intense fire. Sierra watersheds are the origin of over 60% of the state’s developed water supply, and store significant amounts of carbon.  Unfortunately, the current drought and a changing climate are rapidly intensifying the situation in the Sierra.

THE STATE OF THE SIERRA NEVADA’S FORESTS: FROM BAD TO WORSE

snc reportAn update to the 2014 report, this version was released by the Sierra Nevada Conservancy on March 1, 2017.

When the first State of the Sierra Nevada’s Forests report was released in 2014, conditions in the Sierra Nevada appeared to be at their worst. The Region had just experienced its largest fire in recorded history, the 2013 Rim Fire, and the trend toward larger, more severe wildfires in Sierra Forests was already clear. Restoration efforts in the Sierra were grossly out of pace with what was needed, and overgrown forests were starting to show signs of stress from only two years of drought. When the 2014 report was released, tree mortality wasn’t even mentioned.
What came next poured fuel onto an already raging fire.

USDA Forest Service Announces New Strategy for Improving Forest Conditions

usfs-logo

Washington, D.C., August 16, 2018  — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service (USFS) announced today a new strategy for managing catastrophic wildfires and the impacts of invasive species, drought, and insect and disease epidemics.

Specifically, a new report titled Toward Shared Stewardship across Landscapes: An Outcome-based investment Strategy (PDF, 3.7 MB) outlines the USFS’s plans to work more closely with states to identify landscape-scale priorities for targeted treatments in areas with the highest payoffs.

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