Researcher: Wild California just a memory

Mar 01, 2008

A California researcher said nearly all of California's 31 million acres of forest have been changed in some way by humans.

Pollution, roads, mining, logging and development have left obvious marks on the California wilderness but urbanization and fire suppression are the greatest threats to forest health, the San Francisco Chronicle said Friday.

Forest fires near homes have to be controlled, removing fire as a natural method of keeping the forest understory -- the area of a forest which grows in the shade of forest canopy -- from becoming overgrown. State fire officials said development in "wildland-urban interface zones" contributed to the devastation from last wildfires.

The U.S. Forest Service said the overly dense forests combined with drought have played a part in recent bark beetle infestations. Studies have shown that 25 percent of California's forestland, close to 4.9 million acres, are at risk of deadly insect infestations and disease during the next 15 years.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Explore further: Fish will have to find new habitats or perish if global warming is left unchecked

Related Stories

Yosemite forest fire example of possible things to come

Jun 30, 2015

Forest composition, ground cover and topography are the best predictors of forest fire severity in the Western U.S., according to Penn State physical geographers who also see that the long history of fire ...

Lake fire in California burns over 11,000 acres

Jun 19, 2015

The lake fire located in San Bernardino National Forest was reported just before 4:00 p.m. on June 17. The cause of the fire is still under investigation. It is approximately 11,000 acres in size and burning in timber. It ...

Obama administration warns 2015 wildfires could be costly

Jun 09, 2015

Despite a wet spring, the Obama administration warned Tuesday that this summer's wildfires could drain the federal firefighting budget and force government agencies to transfer money from programs meant to reduce long-term ...

Republicans shift strategy in effort to increase logging

Jun 08, 2015

Drought has killed about 12 million trees in California's national forests. In the Rocky Mountain region, an epidemic of pine beetles has damaged trees over a stretch of 32 million acres. Altogether, up to ...

Recommended for you

Gimmicks and technology: California learns to save water

1 hour ago

Billboards and TV commercials, living room visits, guess-your-water-use booths, and awards for water stinginess—a wealthy swath of Orange County that once had one of the worst records for water conservation ...

Cities, regions call for 'robust' world climate pact

2 hours ago

Thousands of cities, provinces and states from around the world urged national governments on Thursday to deliver a "robust, binding, equitable and universal" planet-saving climate pact in December.

Will climate change put mussels off the menu?

2 hours ago

Climate change models predict that sea temperatures will rise significantly, including in the tropics. In these areas, rainfall is also predicted to increase, reducing the salt concentration of the surface ...

As nations dither, cities pick up climate slack

14 hours ago

Their national governments hamstrung by domestic politics, stretched budgets and diplomatic inertia, many cities and provinces have taken a leading role—driven by necessity—in efforts to arrest galloping ...

Should we all escape to the country during a heatwave?

18 hours ago

A University of Birmingham research project has highlighted the potential health impacts of heatwaves in urbanised areas. By modelling the 2003 heatwave the researchers were able to identify areas where city centres were ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

bigwheel
not rated yet Mar 03, 2008
so what

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.