As a Society of American Forester member, I came across an interesting article titled 'What is Happening in Our Forest?' written by Steve Wilent in the latest Forestry Source publication. The interesting part about the article is how a environmentalists are beginning to see the value of active forest management (conservation) versus a 'hands off' preservation approach to the management of our forests.
This idea of 'active management' has great application in the wildland-urban interface (WUI). Often times when communities in the WUI are approached about wildfire mitigation the immediate response is:
'we like the way the forest and vegetation looks'
'we live here because of our love of the forest and natural surrounding and we don't want it to change'
'I am an environmentalist and you are recommending that I remove the vegetation and forest'
'wildfire mitigation techniques like Firewise landscaping is contrary to our deeply held preservation ethic'.
This notion is reinforced in community ordinances, covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC & R's) where homeowners are required to seek permission from authorities to remove trees that are 4 inches and greater in their backyard - sometimes the 'rules' are inforced without thinking about the forest health and wildfire risk potential.
Too connect the dots check out this excellent youtube clip that was produced by the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies:
For more information on wildland mitigation strategies visit Fire Adapted Communities. For further information on Firewise landscaping and construction check out this information pamphlet. What you will learn is that Firewise is not advocating 'moonscaping', but rather sustainable neighborhoods in a fire driven ecosystem.
We have changed our forest because we choose to live there. Let's adapt to nature and Firewise our home and neighborhoods - let's become a recognized Firewise Communites/USA® site and help our community become more Fire Adapted.