Center for Forestry News
Sudden Oak Death, a disease caused by Phytophthora ramorum, a pernicious water mold that slunk from nursery plants into Northern and Central California wildlands two decades ago spreads. Matteo Garbelotto, a plant pathologist at UC Berkeley, has devoted much of his professional life to dealing with the problem of P. ramorum and racing to build a resistance.
"Transmitted largely through infected plant material, the pathogen can also be carried in water and even hitch a ride in the soil on hiking boots and car tires. P. ramorum is known to kill three oak species and cause branch dieback in well over 100 other species of plants, but tanoaks are the most susceptible and P. ramorum has felled millions of them."
1/3 - Grouse Ridge Forest Easement for Bear Yuba Land Trust PG&E Land Donated to University of California
As part of its land conservation commitment, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) recently donated 1,459 acres to the University of California (UC). The transfer was immediately followed by the conveyance of a conservation easement to Bear Yuba Land Trust (BYLT), permanently protecting high-country forest land and important wildlife habitat.
"Todd Dawson's field equipment always includes ropes and ascenders, which he and his team use to climb hundreds of feet into the canopies of the world's largest trees, California's redwoods." Now with the help of drones, there is no need for this laborious work of climbing up the redwood trees.
"The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced today that the U.S. Forest Service has identified an additional 36 million dead trees across California since its last aerial survey in May 2016. This brings the total number of dead trees since 2010 to over 102 million on 7.7 million acres of California's drought stricken forests. In 2016 alone, 62 million trees have died, representing more than a 100 percent increase in dead trees across the state from 2015. Millions of additional trees are weakened and expected to die in the coming months and years."
Current U.S. forest fire policy emphasizes short-term outcomes versus long-term goals. This perspective drives managers to focus on the protection of high-valued resources, whether ecosystem-based or developed infrastructure, at the expense of forest resilience. Given these current and future challenges posed by wildland fire and because the U.S. Forest Service spent >50% of its budget on fire suppression in 2015, a review and reexamination of existing policy is warranted. One of the most difficult challenges to revising forest fire policy is that agency organizations and decision making processes are not structured in ways to ensure that fire management is thoroughly considered in management decisions...