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Study Shows Rich Reforestation after Fires

[ Oregon ] Scientists looking at the aftermath of wildfires in the forests of southwestern Oregon and Northern California found that after five to ten years even the most severely burned areas had sprouted plentiful seedlings without any help from man. The scientific and political debate erupted after the 2002 Biscuit fire, which burned 500,000 acres in southwestern Oregon . Conservation groups lost court battles to stop salvage logging and replanting in roadless areas not normally considered for timber harvest. A congressional hearing was called over research by OSU graduate student Dan Donato that found most of the seedlings that sprouted on their own after the Biscuit fire were destroyed by salvage logging, which also left more fuel on the ground for future fires. The findings seem obvious, given the fact that forests have survived millions of years with wildfires, said Jerry Franklin, professor of forest ecology at the University of Washington and one of the nation’s leading experts on old growth forests.

News notes are courtesy of Southern Forests Network News Notes





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