In the giant sequoia range, roughly 16,000 acres (or 34 percent of the range) had burned, most of which is old growth. We have yet to assess the fire effects on the ground, but as with most modern wildfires, there will likely be a mix of beneficial and detrimental ecological effects.
Coast redwoods are naturally adapted to resist fire damage. It’s going to be a while before it’s safe for us to visit these forests and assess the fire effects, and it will be longer still before we fully understand the short- and long-term impacts on the trees. In the meantime, we will maintain that cautious optimism, knowing that the ancient giants have survived for centuries and lived through many wildfires.
Nearly $150,000 in research grants from Save the Redwoods League have been awarded as part of the 2018 grant cycle. Funding these projects is a significant component of fulfilling the League’s mission, and each of these projects will contribute to scientific knowledge of coast redwood and giant sequoia forests. This research can help us answer big questions that will protect the health of people, wildlife, and the forests.
Everyone at Save the Redwoods League is so excited about the new giant sequoia curriculum for K-12 classrooms offered by the California State Parks PORTS® program, which stands for Parks Online Resources for Teachers and Students. This distance learning program features the giant sequoia of Calaveras Big Trees State Park in its new unit and uses an innovative system incorporating interactive media and virtual reality platforms to teach about the ecosystems, wildlife, and history of California State Parks.
As major wildfires burn throughout California, our thoughts are with the affected communities and dedicated firefighters. The area burned by California wildfires has grown in recent years, and in many cases, the fires have been burning hotter than ever. Kristen Shive, the League’s new Senior Scientist, explains how our forests are faring, and how the League’s restoration and forest management efforts can prevent negative consequences of severe wildfires.