Last August, we had a great interview with Dr. Chad Hanson about the ecological effects of forest fires in California, challenging the dominant paradigm. This month, we return to the topic with Dr. Dominick DellaSala, Chief Scientist of the Geos Institute and a past President of the Society for Conservation Biology. His recent book– The Ecological Importance of Mixed-Severity Fires: Nature’s Phoenix – presents groundbreaking science on the ecological importance of large fires.
Dr. DellaSala will explain how and why forest fires – even severe fires that burn everything – are in fact creative and regenerative, vital to forest ecosystem health, and not the destructive events as usually described in popular media. For example, Spotted Owls will shift their territories to take advantage of newly-burned areas and the increased prey abundance there – but only if the burned area is not logged. So-called “salvage logging” “is the worst thing you can do to these forests after wildfire.”