Center for Forestry at UC Berkeley
University of California
Center for Forestry at UC Berkeley

Center for Forestry at UC Berkeley

About the Center

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The Center for Forestry brings together researchers to create and disseminate knowledge concerning ecosystem processes, human interactions and value systems, and restoration and operational forestry management practice.

The Center for Forestry is located in the College of Natural Resources on the University of California, Berkeley Campus. It also serves as part of the system-wide Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

The center is co-directed by Bill Stewart, forestry extension specialist, and Scott Stephens, professor of fire sciences.  For  additional information or inquiries, please contact Carlin Starrs, policy analyst.

News

2/28 - Management, firefighting crucial to determine wildfire risk

A new study from researchers in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management and the UC Berkeley Center for Fire Research and Outreach demonstrates that vegetation management and firefighting play major roles in determining fire risk in California.

Using 65 years of historical fire data, authors Van ButsicCarlin StarrsWilliam Stewart, and Connor Stephens reveal that on comparable lands, federal ownership, federal firefighting, and “reserve” designation were associated with significantly higher fire probability. This difference increased over time: wildfires in the most recent time period (2000-2015) were 2-3 times more common on federally owned lands compared to similar non-federally owned lands.

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2/13 - California’s wildfire risk is rising. Congress missed a chance to help

WASHINGTON - Forestry experts have a dire warning for California: the conditions are ripe for more catastrophic fire seasons like the one last fall. And an arcane federal funding arrangement is making it a lot harder for forestry officials to do something about it.

Scott Stephens, a professor of fire science at the University of California, Berkeley Center for Forestry said, "Political leaders should be able to find common ground that both respects the environment and reduces fire risk. The status quo for California's forests is unsustainable." 

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10/11 - Where and how to get fire information

In 2014, the Center for Forestry nearly lost one of our research forests to the King Fire. During this time, we learned a few things about how fire information is disseminated.  We hope some of this will prove useful to those tracking these fires.

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9/19 - Action Needed to Improve Health of California’s Headwater Forests

“Actions to arrest the decline in forest health will take place far from urban centers,” said Van Butsic, a coauthor of the report and a forestry expert with UC Berkeley’s cooperative extension. “But all Californians will benefit through continued supplies of high-quality water, natural environments, forest products, and recreational landscapes.”

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6/12 - Wildfires and climate change are fueling each other, creating a vicious cycle

"Right now, forests absorb global-warming pollution. But that's changing as temperatures rise." Featuring Center researcher Dr. Brandon Collins

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6/9 - As funds dry up, Oakland struggles to manage fire risk in hills

"As the days turn drier in the Oakland hills and a major source of fire prevention funding evaporates, fire safety advocates say there are inadequate resources to combat the perennial risk of wildfire, especially on neglected public lands." Featuring Center co-director Dr. Scott Stephens

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3/28 - Rainy Winter Spreads Sudden Oak Death

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.

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1/3 - Grouse Ridge Forest Easement for Bear Yuba Land Trust PG&E Land Donated to University of Cali

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.

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11/18 - Announcement: Available Positions at UC Berkeley

11/18 - Announcement: Available Positions at UC Berkeley

The Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management at the University of California, Berkeley seeks academics to apply as an Assistant Cooperative Extension Specialist (Fiscal Year) to conduct applied research and outreach in each of the following areas: Forest Health; Rangeland Planning & Policy; and Water Resources & Climate Change Adaptation. The expected start date is July 1, 2015.

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11/6 - Sprouting from the Ashes - Robin Bellows, ESPM Graduate Student, Masters of Forestry

11/6 - Sprouting from the Ashes - Robin Bellows, ESPM Graduate Student, Masters of Forestry

"Last summer, working at Blodgett was an opportunity to get my boots in the mud and put classroom concepts to practice, from timber management to resilience ecology. In class, I studied how stands of trees change over time; at Blodgett, I thinned young trees to manipulate the growth progression of the forest. I read about fire ecology in class, and at Blodgett I measured sapling survival after a burn. After hefting a pack full of frothy purple herbicide up a hill, I learned to respect its power in beating back thorns that would have taken hours of scratches to uproot by hand. I felled a tree and thought, “what responsibility do I have to reshape this landscape?”

Sprouting from the Ashes - Robin Bellows, ESPM Graduate Student, Masters of Forestry

 

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11/4 - Using LiDAR to Measure the Structure of Tall Trees at Whitaker's Forest - Dr. Martin Béland

11/4 - Using LiDAR to Measure the Structure of Tall Trees at Whitaker's Forest - Dr. Martin Béland

Dr. Martin Béland writes about his research using LiDAR to measure the structure of tall trees at Whitaker's Forest (one of the Center's four research forests). Béland was a postdoctoral scholar at UC Berkeley’s biometeorology lab from 2012-2014. He is currently an assistant professor at Laval University in Canada.

 

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9/23 - King fire threatens decades of campus research - The Daily Californian

9/23 - King fire threatens decades of campus research - The Daily Californian

King fire threatens decades of campus research - The Daily Californian 

“As it was approaching, I saw a large column of smoke,” said Robert York, research stations manager of the campus Center for Forestry. “It was clear it was coming close. But then, it raged by. It was like a freight train had gone by.”

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9/19 - King Fire May Put UC Research Forest to the Test

9/19 - King Fire May Put UC Research Forest to the Test

 

via UC Berkeley College of Natural Resources

"A key University of California, Berkeley, research station is threatened by the King Fire in El Dorado County. Blodgett Research Forest, 4,270 acres located 10 miles east of Georgetown, is home to scores of UC Berkeley investigations on trees and other plants, fish and wildlife populations, insects, diseases, soils, atmospheric chemistry and wildfire management techniques."

 

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9/5 - Notes from a Recent Rim Fire Tour

9/5 - Notes from a Recent Rim Fire Tour

Center for Forestry staff recently attended a tour of the Rim Fire hosted by the NorCal/Socal Society of American Foresters State Society. The Rim Fire was (and still is) the largest fire Sierra Nevada history (over 250,000 acres). The tour featured discussions about salvage operations, reforestation, and forest policy.

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8/6 - UC Berkeley Forestry Receives Award Honoring Outstanding Contributions to California Forestry

The California State Board of Forestry and Fire Protection will present the University of California (UC), Berkeley Forestry Program with its highest honor, the “Francis H. Raymond Award for Outstanding Contributions to California Forestry.” The presentation will be made during the Board Meeting scheduled for Wednesday, August 27, 2014 in the first floor auditorium of the Resources Building located at 1416 9th Street in downtown Sacramento.

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March 2014 - Blodgett Biomass

This is the latest HD version of the Blodgett Biomass Recovery Project, highlighting the benefits and challenges associated with managing forest biomass and transforming it into a source for renewable energy generation. This project was managed by the Placer County Air Pollution Control District in cooperation with UC Berkeley - Blodgett Forest Station and many other partners. This project is perhaps the leading illustration of biomass utilization in forest management and renewable energy in California, where nearly 9 million acres of forest stand in need of treatment (USFS estimate).

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