Post-fire Logging, But Not Severe Fire, Harms Spotted Owls

Spotted Owl in a severely burned forest.

Wildlife ecologists studying the rare spotted owl in the forests of California have discovered that large, intense wildfires are not responsible for abandonment of breeding territories. Instead, the researchers found that post-fire logging operations, which are common on both private and National Forest lands, most likely caused declines in territory occupancy of this imperiled wildlife … Read more

New Documentary Gives Smokey Bear A New, Positive Message About Forest Fire

A black-backed woddpecker emerges from his nest cavity in a severely-burned forest patch created by the Sugarloaf Fire of California.

A new video documentary released this week describes the important positive ecological effects of high-severity forest fires. High-severity forest fires, also called stand-replacing or crown fires, create rare and important wildlife habitat, and many species of plants and animals reach their highest abundances only in these blackened ‘snag forests’. Fear of high-severity forest fires is … Read more

The Science of Forest Fire and Spotted Owls

Spotted Owl in a severely burned forest.

Fifteen years of research about severely burned Snag Forests in the western U.S.A. and their important value as wildlife habitat and ecological services has produced a healthy body of scientific literature. These papers, and others, have opened the eyes of many to the now-obvious fact that burned forests create wildlife habitat and even old growth … Read more