forest fire

One year after a wildfire, burnt redwoods regrow foliage. Photo by Benjamin S. Ramage

Re-Sprouting After Fire

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Last weekend, while I was hiking in the forests of Northern California with strong winds and thunder and lightning storms, I was reminded that we are entering fire season. While the thought of forest fires often stir fear in us Continued

Like a Phoenix

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When a forest fire blazes, it seems like the path of destruction will result in irreversible change for the woods. Fire does indeed leave its mark among the redwoods, but I’m struck over and over again how quickly forests can Continued

One Way to Manage and Protect a Forest: Burn It

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Lately we have been thinking a lot about fire. It is fire season in California and sadly huge fires in the west are making headlines with their destructive activity. So, we’ve been discussing ways to decrease these devastating forest fires. Continued

Dudley's lousewort (Pedicularis dudleyi). Photo by asadotzler, Flickr Creative Commons

A Rare Plant Inhabits the Forest – Or Does It?

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It was a beautiful day for a hike along Peters Creek. The ancient forest of the Santa Cruz Mountains was in full bloom; chattering woodpeckers, the tumbling creek, giant redwood and Douglas fir trees all begged for acknowledgement and appreciation.  Continued

Fire-suppressed sequoia grove – note the large fire scar on the giant sequoia on the right.

Setting Fire to the Forest

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We’ll do all the law’s allowin’/Tomorrow I’ll be right back plowin’/ settin’ the woods on fire —Hank Williams In a recent post, I discussed the role of natural disturbance in creating the forests we see today. This week, I’d like Continued

Burned tree in Redwood National Park.

Where do forests come from?

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Whenever I’m out in the forest, I can’t help but think about how it all got started.  Even though the redwoods may seem timeless and unchanging, they almost always began in turmoil.  These periods of rapid change are known as Continued

A researcher climbs a giant sequoia at Mountain Home Grove next to a burned giant sequoia that remains alive with two vigorous sprouts near its broken top. Photo credit: Bob Van Pelt

Burned out but not fading away

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It’s fairly difficult for me to imagine living for 3,000 years. Yet giant sequoias live for millennia, standing tall in a single location as the years, decades, and centuries tick by. They are pounded by rain, snow, sweltering heat, lightening, Continued

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