Friday, February 28, 2014

Challenges for Fire-Prone Forests in the Pacific Northwest

When it comes to biodiversity something that easily comes to mind is logging of old-growth and the clearing of native forests, which is historically one of the most well known drivers of biodiversity loss in the Pacific Northwest. Policies have been enacted however, to limit logging and protect habitats of threatened species with this “management and conversation efforts have shifted to focus on other issues and threats including effects of altering fire regimes and occurrence of large high intensity fires in reserves intended for species sensitive to particular fire regimes” (source).

The paper is highly dense and I recommend taking a look at it if you're interested (link at the bottom of this post). However, the authors provide us with a list of options when it comes to dealing with forest fires which are:
  1. Managing wildfires (including allowing them to burn to produce ecological benefits while protecting lives and structures.
  2. Full suppression of wildfires.
  3. A combination of the two above; since 2009 in the USA, some fires are simultaneously managed for suppression and ecological objectives.
  4. Prescribed fire.
  5. Other fuel manipulations.

Like I said, check it out!

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