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Feb 29 2024 | 2:00 - 3:00pm PST

Webinars, Seminars and Presentations

Fire suppression and past selective logging have fundamentally changed frequent-fire adapted forests. Management options available to address this problem include mechanical treatments (Mech), prescribed fire (Fire), or combinations of these treatments (Mech + Fire). We quantify changes from a 20-year forest restoration study in the northern Sierra Nevada. All three active treatments (Fire, Mech, Mech + Fire) produced forest conditions that were much more resistant to wildfire. Mech produced low fire hazards beginning 7-years after the initial treatment and Mech + Fire had lower tree growth than controls. The only treatment that produced inter-tree competition similar to historical California mixed-conifer forests was Mech + Fire, indicating that stands under this treatment would likely be more resilient to enhanced forest stressors. Mech resulted in positive revenues and was also relatively strong as an investment in reducing modeled fire hazard. The Mech + Fire treatment represents a compromise between the desire to sustain financial feasibility and the desire to reintroduce fire. If we do not use the knowledge from 20+ years of forest research and the much longer tradition of Indigenous cultural practices and knowledge, frequent-fire forests will continue to be degraded and lost.