wildfire

A stand of trees, mostly Douglas fir, burned by the Usal Fire this week on Shady Dell. Photo by Richard Campbell

Good News/Bad News Following Fire at Shady Dell

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If you’ve been following our social media over the last week or so, you’ve heard about the Usal Fire, which started July 27 and burned about 180 acres. About 150 acres of the fire took place on our Shady Dell property. The fire is now almost completely contained.

We and our partners used controlled burning to reduce non-native vegetation on a League-protected property.

A Look Inside a Prescribed Fire

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Save the Redwoods just led a team of researchers and land stewards from all over California to learn about using prescribed fire (controlled burning) on private lands. Take a peek behind the scenes to see how we use fire as a tool to reduce hazardous buildups of combustible vegetation and improve the health of our forests across League properties and the redwood range.

We’re reducing the threat of severe wildfire by managing vegetation buildups in this Humboldt County forest.

New Grants Support Wildfire, Carbon Projects

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Two new awards from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) are supporting League work to increase the carbon sequestration potential of redwood and giant sequoia ecosystems, while protecting them and surrounding communities from the threat of severe wildfires.

Thick bark enables giant sequoia to withstand lower-severity ground fires

Grants Fund Research on Wildfire, Wildlife and a Rare Plant in Coast Redwood and Giant Sequoia

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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.

California Bear Love

Our Hearts Are with Those Affected by Wildfires

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Our hearts are with everyone affected by the devastating wildfires here in California. We watched with shock, horror, and sadness as these fires uprooted families, burned homes, and took lives.

Thick bark enables giant sequoia to withstand lower-severity ground fires

Status of Our Forests During Wildfires, Urgency of Restoration

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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.

coast redwoods

Soberanes Fire Burns in the Redwood Region

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At the time of writing, the Soberanes Fire has burned over 60,000 acres in Monterey County and is about 45% contained. The fire area covers much of Garrapata State Park, a scenic and rugged redwoods park at the southern end of the coast redwood range. We don’t yet know whether, or to what extent, the park’s redwood groves are suffering damage; and while the primary concern is for the well-being of nearby human communities, it’s interesting to consider the implications of fires like this in the redwood forest.

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 …

Ferns Flush First after Fire

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On October 14th last year, a wildfire burned four acres of coast redwood forest at Roy’s Redwoods Preserve in Western Marin. Despite this fire blazing after many cumulative months of dry weather, fire fighters quickly contained the burn and only …

This redwood grove on a League-owned Napa County property will get protection from extra-intense wildfires.

Fierce Fires Pose Threats to Forests, Water

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It’s fire season again. Last week, the local news reported on a 2,500-acre fire in Napa County, just east of the redwood range and Save the Redwoods League’s property near Bothe-Napa State Park. As I’ve mentioned before in previous blogs, …

The canopy in Boulder Creek Forest provides nesting places for the marbled murrelet, an imperiled seabird. by Paolo Vescia

Harvesting Timber for Forest Protection

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There is a sad paradox to much of my work as a forester. I became a forester because I love the forest, yet much of my work requires me to kill trees. No matter what the larger goal is for …

My colleague Richard Campbell tries to make his way uphill through the thick brush.

Protecting Our Land Through Restoration

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During my annual monitoring visit to one of our lands, I noticed thick brush growing up around the redwood forest. Something would need to be done about it! California’s drought has brought dry conditions that create an increased chance for …

Left, Cape Vizcaino in 1947, with meadows clearly visible. Right, the present view, with trees encroaching heavily.

Burning Cape Vizcaino

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The view from the picnic table was grand to be sure, the blue infinities of sea and sky meeting where the distant fog gathered offshore (and coastal fog, when you think about it, really is the perfect blend of the …

Native American Use of Fire

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In discussing fire, it is important to think about who managed the forests before us, and how that has influenced what the forests look like today. Many different Native American groups lived throughout the redwood region, each utilizing the natural …

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. …

Fire Season

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Along with spring, summer, autumn and winter, California has a fifth season – fire season.  After a couple of dry winters, the current fire season in California is predicted to be one of the most intense on record.  Habitats from …

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 …

The ancient tree known as “Treebeard” has often been used as a traveler camp, and though burned from the inside many times, it has survived with some portions left dead from the fires. Photo by Mark Andre, Environmental Services

Old-Growth Redwood Burns in Arcata

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“Transient Camp Causes Fire in Old-Growth Redwood Tree,” reads the headline posted by the City of Arcata. The fire did not damage just any old redwood.  It burned (and is apparently still burning) in ‘Treebeard,’ a redwood estimated to be …

Giant Sequoia

25 Years of Controversy amid the Monarchs

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I just got back from a trip to see the cinnamon-colored giants of Mountain Home Demonstration State Forest in the southern Sierra. It was a real treat to explore a giant sequoia grove for the first time, especially when accompanied …