Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources
Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources
Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources
University of California
Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources

UC Cooperative Extension | Agricultural Experiment Station

Can rakes save forests? Yes, as long as you have a drip torch in the other hand

Landowners at a UCCE prescribed fire training are 'holding' the fire on the left side of the fire line that was cut using rakes and other hand tools. The landowner on the far left is firing the burn unit with a drip torch. (Photo: Ames Gilbert)

The humble rake has been in the spotlight in recent weeks, and its role as a forest management tool ridiculed and scorned. However, most fire professionals believe rakes are a necessary part of saving California's forests. Those who are familiar with...

UC Delivers

UC spurs oak woodland conservation momentum and policy changes
The loss of deciduous oak woodlands to native conifer encroachment is a major conservation concern in California, resulting in associated losses of wildlife habitat, traditional uses, biodiversity, and other ecosystem services. These concerns – compounded by development pressures, evolving understanding of fire’s role in California landscapes, and health threats like sudden oak death – have drawn increasing attention in recent years, and conservation and restoration efforts have gained momentum. However, efforts are complicated by a paucity of information on the rate and extent of conifer encroachment, successional dynamics, and trajectories of oak regeneration and conifer recruitment in a changing climate. Landowners, policymakers, conservation groups, and agencies have looked to UCCE for scientific guidance and landowner cooperation.

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