Here’s an article that gets into what this blog was started for: national forest forest planning.
In 1987, Ronald Reagan was president, climate change was barely discussed and Santa Fe National Forest drafted its management plan.
Forest officials now are overhauling the 34-year-old plan, with an eye on keeping it malleable for when the climate, landscape and science change in the future.
The revised plan addresses how extended drought, increased development, population growth and more diverse uses are affecting the forest. It also offers broad guidance for adapting to whatever comes in the next 10 or 15 years.
One of the key changes from the Reagan era is how fires are handled.
Past practices have led to high tree density in some areas, leaving these woodlands susceptible to fire, especially in prolonged drought conditions, the plan says.
Fire management in the past 30 years has shifted from suppressing most natural fires to using controlled burns to reduce dense debris and vegetation that can ignite severe wildfires.
The revised plan calls for creating open areas — more gaps between trees as well as clumps of trees in fields — to prevent flames from spreading easily, Cramer said.
To achieve that, crews will increase mechanical tree thinning by 135 percent and almost triple the amount of managed burns, she said.
The plan says lack of natural fires along with livestock grazing, roads and human activities have decreased grasslands. Reduced grass cover keeps water from absorbing into the Earth, increases erosion and leaves the ground barren.