Did You Know

Did You Know

that dead trees do not increase the occurrence or intensity of wild fires? Or that Bark beetles are a native species and not an invading force?

In fact, not only do dead trees and Bark beetles not increase fire risk, they are both essential to a healthy forest ecosystem.

Native Bark beetles always exist in our forest, but at certain points in time, such as during a period of drought, these insects increase their numbers in order to weed out the less fit trees, creating snags (dead trees), and enabling the fittest trees with the best DNA to have the resources they need to survive. This creates a healthier, more resilient (able to survive the tough times) forest.

Not only do Bark beetles improve forest health, they also increase native biodiversity. They themselves are a food source for many birds and even other insects, and the dead trees they create provide homes for cavity nesting birds and mammals and permit flowering and berry producing shrubs to germinate in the sunlight attracting even more species!

Did You Know

that California Spotted Owls have returned to the Stanislaus National Forest in the area where the 2013 Rim Fire burned?

In fact, not only have the Spotted Owls returned (there are 70 owls occupying 39 territories) but they are occupying the area in numbers greater than are normally found in unburned mature and old forest.

This is because unburned habitat, which is suitable for spotted owl nesting and roosting, becomes some of the best and most preferred foraging / hunting habitat for the owls when it burns at high intensity (just ask the owls themselves as they seek it out above all other habitats when it is available).

This is because high-intensity fire creates perfect conditions for the Spotted Owl’s small mammal prey species to thrive and multiply. An easy meal means greater chances of survival for the owls and a better chance that they will successfully reproduce and that their babies will also survive!

Did You Know

that patches of high-intensity fire—where most or all trees are killed—create “complex early seral forest” (CESF)?

CESF is the most biodiverse, rarest, and most threatened forest habitat type in the western United States (even more so than unburned old forest).