From Bad To Worse
When the first State of the Sierra Nevada’s Forests report was released in 2014, conditions in the Sierra Nevada appeared to be at their worst. The Region had just experienced its largest fire in recorded history, the 2013 Rim Fire, and the trend toward larger, more severe wildfires in Sierra Forests was already clear. Restoration efforts in the Sierra were grossly out of pace with what was needed, and overgrown forests were starting to show signs of stress from only two years of drought. When the 2014 report was released, tree mortality wasn’t even mentioned.
The current conditions and the resulting impacts to California are significant, and this update to the State of the Sierra Nevada’s Forests report revisits the variety of critical benefits that are being lost.
While the conditions have worsened, the proposed solutions remain the same—restoring our forests and watersheds to health and resilience—only with a higher degree of urgency. It will take a renewed commitment at the state, federal, and local levels. The alternative of the status quo is simply not acceptable.
Forest Management and Wildfire
- Avian community responses to post-fire forest structure: implications for fire management in mixed conifer forests
- Do insect outbreaks reduce the severity of subsequent forest fires?
- Forest Health Protection Survey
- Elevated Tree Mortality Resulting from Ongoing California Drought
- Spending to fight California wildfires surpasses $1 billion
- Rim Fire – Preliminary Fuel Treatment Effectiveness Report
- Trends in wildfire severity 1984-2010 in the Sierra Nevada, Modoc Plateau and Southern Cascades, California, USA
- Quantitative evidence for increasing forest fire severity in the Sierra Nevada and southern Cascade Mountains, California and Nevada, USA
- Wildfire-contingent effects of fuel treatments can promote ecological resilience in seasonally dry conifer forests
- Long-term vegetation responses to reintroduction and repeated use of fire in mixed-conifer forests of the Sierra Nevada
- Using Fire to Increase the Scale, Benefits, and Future Maintenance of Fuels Treatments
Water Quantity and Quality
- Multi-scale analysis of snow dynamics at the southern margin of the North American continental snow distribution
- Mountain runoff vulnerability to increased evapotranspiration with vegetation expansion
- Climate change impacts on high elevation hydropower generation in California’s Sierra Nevada: a case study in the Upper American River
- Runoff and erosion from wildfires and roads: effects and mitigation
- Measurement of snow interception and canopy effects on snow accumulation and melt in a mountainous maritime climate, Oregon, United States
- Forests and Water in the Sierra Nevada: Sierra Nevada Watershed Ecosystem Enhancement Project
- California Department of Water Resources. Managing An Uncertain Future
Emissions, Sequestration, and Air Quality
- Prescribed fire as a means of reducing forest carbon emissions in the Western United States
- Projected effects of climate and development on California wildfire emissions through 2100
- The carbon balance of reducing wildfire risk and restoring process: an analysis of 10-year post-treatment carbon dynamics in a mixed-conifer forest
- Sustainable biochar to mitigate global climate change
- Fire Suppression and Fuels Treatment Effects on Mixed-Conifer Carbon Stocks and Emissions
- Recovery of ponderosa pine ecosystem carbon and water fluxes from thinning and stand-replacing fire
- Aboveground live carbon stock changes of California wildland ecosystems
- Impacts of the fall 2007 California wildfires on surface ozone: Integrating local observations with global model simulations
- Forest Health and Carbon Storage System Indicators – Sierra Nevada Conservancy
The Sierra Nevada Forest and Community Initiative
Integrated Regional Water Management
The California Water Action Plan
Failure to understand the urgency of the situation in the Sierra Nevada will have devastating impacts on California’s environment and economy.
Communications & Outreach Manager