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As California burns, some ecologists say it’s time to rethink forest management

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Saturday, August 21, 2021

Yet despite a universal desire to avoid more destruction, experts aren’t always in agreement about what should be done before a blaze ignites. Forest management has long been touted as essential to fighting wildfires, with one new set of studies led by the University of Wisconsin and the U.S. Forest Service concluding that there is strong scientific evidence to support the effectiveness of thinning dense forests and reducing fuels through prescribed burns. But some ecologists say that logging, thinning and other tactics that may have worked in the past are no longer useful in an era of ever hotter, larger and more frequentwildfires.“The fact is that forest management is not stopping weather- and climate-driven fires,” said Chad Hanson, a forest and fire ecologist and the president of the John Muir Project.

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