Two Words Explain California’s Wildfire Woes: Spotted Owl

By Kevin Nelson
California Globe
October 13, 2022
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Some things in life are hard to understand and explain. …Such as: California’s wildfire woes. In the past five years summer and fall firestorms have killed dozens of people, wiped out homes, businesses and entire communities, torched millions of acres of forestlands, caused billions in property losses, and swept away untold numbers of animals and wildlife. The cause of all this wreckage is easy to pinpoint. It’s simple as two words: spotted owl. In the 1980s California was a superstar timber producer. …From 1988 to 2011, Little writes that the number of wildfires in California “increased by seven large fires annually.” It is no coincidence that 1988 was the year the spotted owl received protection. …The irony here is… according to Dan Porter of the Nature Conservancy, the critical lack of timber industry infrastructure and know-how is “one of the biggest barriers to scaling ecological forest management.”

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