The answers to these questions are not so clear, as explained by Dominick DellaSala, Ph.D. of Geos Institute in a webinar on February 18, 2016.
Defending Bedrock Environmental Laws and Policies
Fire is a natural force that has shaped the biodiversity of dry forests across the West for millennia. Fire is only catastrophic when it destroys homes or results in loss of life. Unfortunately, fire has been used as an excuse for opening up millions of acres of public lands to unabated logging based on the false premise that logging can prevent future fires and is needed to “restore” forests that have burned. We have chosen to work on fire as a key- stone ecological process because there is much public concern about whether it will increase during a warming climate and whether it is a significant source of CO2 emissions.
For over a decade, Geos Institute has been playing a leadership role in bringing cutting-edge science on the ecological importance of fire featured in top tier science journals, news media reports, and in efforts by partners to defend landmark environmental laws and policies. We continue to develop scientifically sound alternatives that advocate for let-burn policies under safe conditions in the backcountry and fuels reduction near homes and in flammable tree plantations.
Is weird weather the result of global warming? Listen to Dr. DellaSala, Chief Scientist, Geos Institute talk about what can be done.
The climate of the West is changing rapidly leading to the potential for more fires in places by the middle of this century. Chief Scientist Dominick DellaSala discusses how thinning a forest away from homes will not protect homes or fire-fighter lives when a fire eventually occurs particularly as fires are driven increasingly by extreme weather events. Living with fire is possible by re-directing fire suppression dollars to helping homeowners reduce their risks of fire. Logging in the backcountry will not help prepare homes or property from fire risks. Listen to the debate.
Dr. Dominick DellaSala presents science behind the ecological role of fire and the importance of mixed-severity fire with regards to the maintenance of native biodiversity and fire-dependent ecosystems and species.
Forest thinning and use of logging slash and shrubs as fuel for energy production is being championed as clean, renewable energy. Geos Institute scientists Dr. Dominick DellaSala and Marni Koopman say that isn’t so. Read the full report.
- Blogging for forests – woody biomass increases emissions (The Biomass Monitor)
- Southern Oregon University rejects forest biomass project on climate grounds (Ashland Daily Tidings)
Drs. Dominick DellaSala, Chad Hanson, and Tim Ingalsbee comment on why we need a new and ecologically appropriate fire management policy.
Dominick DellaSala comments on NYTimes dot earth blog on fire and climate change.
Dr. Chad Hanson and Dr. Dominick DellaSala have released a new book on the ecosystem benefits of wildfires as featured here on Charter Local Edition TV.
This fire primer is meant for decision makers concerned about forest fires in the American West. Using best science, we address seven fundamental questions related to the ecological importance of large fires and their appropriate management on public lands. Specifically, we examine: (1) what works best for reducing fire risks to homes and firefighters; (2) are large wildland fires an ecological catastrophe as claimed; (3) are fires increasing from historical levels; (4) does forest thinning reduce fire intensity or lower large fire occurrence; (5) how does post-fire logging affect forest rejuvenation and reburn intensity; (6) do insect outbreaks increase fire occurrence or intensity; and (7) how is climate change affecting fire behavior in the West?
The Ecological Importance of High-Severity Fires, presents information on the current paradigm shift in the way people think about wildfire and ecosystems.
While much of the current forest management in fire-adapted ecosystems, especially forests, is focused on fire prevention and suppression, little has been reported on the ecological role of fire, and nothing has been presented on the importance of high-severity fire with regards to the maintenance of native biodiversity and fire-dependent ecosystems and species.
This text fills that void, providing a comprehensive reference for documenting and synthesizing fire’s ecological role.
- Offers the first reference written on mixed- and high-severity fires and their relevance for biodiversity
- Contains a broad synthesis of the ecology of mixed- and high-severity fires covering such topics as vegetation, birds, mammals, insects, aquatics, and management actions
- Explores the conservation vs. public controversy issues around megafires in a rapidly warming world