Bloomberg News has a pretty good article today:
As the threat of wildfire looms, a debate has emerged in the state about the best way to plant trees.
Some interesting photos, too.
As someone who helped with numerous timber sales on the El Dorado NF in the 1980s, and helped suppress a few wildfires there, I agree that broad landscapes of plantations of evenly spaced trees are far from natural, and in a changing climate, perhaps are a liability — unless they are managed to be more like natural stands, with groups of trees and spaces in between. That can be done with “industrial” plantations, if thinning aims to leave groups/skips/gaps rather than maintaining relatively uniform stem density. Of course, this is site-specific. In some areas, even-aged, production-oriented silviculture is appropriate, and in other areas, nature has created dense, even-aged stands on its own. In between, group planting may help guard against the incineration of entire watersheds. Here is where desired future conditions, with due recognition of likely future climate conditions, might best guide management.