New Video: Forests Born of Fire

The Wild Nature Institute has produced a new video, “Forests Born of Fire.”  Western US forests burned by high-intensity fire are important and rare wildlife habitat – but widespread policies of salvage logging and logging intended to prevent the likelihood of fire on private and public lands harms this habitat. a

The video was filmed in burned forests of the Lassen National Forest of California.  The idea was conceived, the script written, the footage gathered, and the video narrated and edited entirely by biologists studying wildlife that use burned forests.  Read more about WNI’s work to study and protect wildlife in burned forests.

4 thoughts on “New Video: Forests Born of Fire”

  1. There is no shortage of high intensity burns in California. Modern salvage projects always include untouched areas, both within and outside of project boundaries. My last salvage project only harvested in 55% of the total fire acreage. Also, again, no mention of re-burns. Clearly, the views in the video show fuels build-ups that will soon burn again. Such build-ups rarely decompose into soils in these very dry landscapes. Yes, even within salvage projects we still get those mosaics some people crave. Modern salvage projects have come a VERY long way in my lifetime. Multi-sized snag retention is another one of those changes. Some people like to use 80’s style salvage projects to compare to preservationism.

    The huge Storrie Fire, straddling the Plumas/Lassen NF boundary, went unsalvaged, due to the threat of litigation, Last year’s Chips Fire is directly adjacent to the Storrie Fire. I predict that Chad Hanson will litigate any and all efforts to salvage the Chips Fire, as well. Remember, Hanson is well known for suing to prevent roadside hazard tree projects, considering dead trees along roads to be blackbacked woodpecker habitat.

    Preservationists also disregard the impacts of those fires crossing into private lands. I have seen the results of intensive salvage logging on private lands. Often, those impacts from private salvage logging cross back onto public lands. Serious erosion goes hand in hand with high intensity wildfires. Modern salvage projects help mitigate that erosion, as well as speeding recovery by reducing re-burns. You would be amazed at how much soil is held back by fine twigs and logging slash.

    Usually, high intensity burns occur in thick and overstocked forests that currently harbor goshawks and owls. Is it worthwhile to trade a rare habitat for a common habitat?!?! Once again, here in California, snag habitat is not rare!

  2. Here is a prime example of the differences between private salvage logging, and the preservation of post-fire landscapes. I have personally worked in this area of the Moonlight Fire, seeing the contrasts. Embracing high-intensity wildfires Ignores the damage of private salvage logging.,-120.684503&spn=0.007,0.016512&t=h&z=17

    Zooming in reveals even more examples of the differences, including the ripping of landings and roads on Forest Service land. Also revealed is the lack of harvesting in the Federal helicopter units. Zooming all the way in shows that 95% of the old growth is dead, and that survivors of the fire probably became infested by bark beetles. It is also clear that there is massive soil disturbance on the private lands. Wishing for more high intensity wildfires means wishing for more “moonscapes”.


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