Study Shows Value of Soil Health and Forest Restoration after Damaging Events

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A nine-year experiment by a University of California Merced professor and his colleagues is illuminating the importance of soil carbon in maintaining healthy and functioning ecosystems because of its influence on the microbial communities that live in soil.

These communities’ health can help researchers understand the effects of climate change.

The paper shows that reducing the carbon plants input into soil drastically affects microbial life. That can lead to many downstream consequences, including the leaching of nitrogen and other nutrients from the soil — where they are beneficial — to aquatic ecosystems — where they are harmful. Carbon reductions are often the result of “disturbance events” such as wildfires and deforestation.

— UC Merced Newsroom

Walden Applauds Forest Service’s Proposed Streamlining of Forest Management Projects

Representative Greg Walden (R-Hood River) applauded the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service for taking steps to improve the planning process for forest management projects ahead of the 2019 fire season.

“Currently, upwards of 70 percent of forest project costs go into planning. Streamlining that process will extend resources to get more work done in the woods and reduce the threat of wildfire and smoke to our communities. The Nature Conservancy and U.S. Forest Service found that active forest management can reduce the size and intensity of wildfires by 70 percent. It is time to follow the science and update policies to speed up forest management, and the Forest Service is taking important steps towards getting that done.”

— Capital Press