Why do we need to invest in forests?
After decades of near total fire suppression, many forests in the western U.S. are significantly overgrown. Combined with the effects of climate change, forests have become a dangerous liability.
- Overgrown forests are more susceptible to severe wildfire, threaten water quality and quantity, and endanger lives, communities, and habitat.
- Forest restoration is the removal of brush and shrubs and thinning of trees to restore forests to a healthier and more natural state.
- The US Forest Service has identified 58 million acres in need of restoration nationwide.
- Unfortunately, restoration is not being implemented at the needed scale for a number of reasons, including limited funding.
Overgrown Forest – Before
Restored Forest – After
Feather River 1890 (natural tree density results in healthy forest) and 1993 (unnatural tree density results in overgrown forest)
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(Photo: George E. Gruell)