Following a Prius up a dirt forest road, I daydream a bit behind the wheel. It's a pretty place: black oaks starting to show a little fall color, tall willows fringing the backs of Grout Creek, sun-warmed granite boulders showing between the trees. Scrub jays dart noisily between the trees as I pass, flashes of blue glinting off their wing feathers.
This month I had the opportunity to hike into the Aspen Grove which burned at high intensity on the San Bernardino National Forest during the Lake Fire.
I'd expected the Lake Fire's high intensity burn area to be somber, promising renewal only in the abstract for people who could spot subtle signs of recovery. Instead, the place is cheerful, the life in it exuberant.
October 14, 2015
By Chad Hanson
Re-wild Commentary on KCET.org
Numerous scientific studies, including one by NASA, demonstrate that trees that die as a result of an increase in Bark beetle populations do not increase the risk or intensity of wildland fire in western forests. These native beetles enhance our forest ecosystems and should not be the scapegoat for misinformed forest management and misguided legislation.
Good news from the wildfire front: it looks as though high-severity fires might not be as much of a disaster for wildlife as is popularly supposed. That's the takeaway from a new study of the McNally Fire which found that Pacific Fisher's, especially females use forested areas that burned at high intensity.
Chad Hanson was a guest on the KQED Radio program FORUM discussing how the the so called "Resilient Forest Act of 2015" simply promotes more logging with less oversight at the expense of our native forest ecosystems which evolved with fire and benefit from this natural process. To listen to the Program or submit a comment click the link below.
Chad Hanson and Dominick DellaSalla talk about their new book, "The Ecological Importance of High-Severity Fire: Nature's Phoenix", and discuss why and how federal policy on wildland fire should change so that communities are better protected, firefighters are not put unnecessarily at risk and fire is allowed to improve our ecosystems all while saving billions in taxpayer dollars.