skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Sunday, May 19, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

4 dead as severe storms hit Houston, TX; Election Protection Program eases access to voting information; surge in solar installations eases energy costs for Missourians; IN makes a splash for Safe Boating Week.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

The Supreme Court rules funding for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is okay, election deniers hold key voting oversight positions in swing states, and North Carolina lawmakers vote to ban people from wearing masks in public.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Americans are buying up rubber ducks ahead of Memorial Day, Nebraskans who want residential solar have a new lifeline, seven community colleges are working to provide students with a better experience, and Mississippi's "Big Muddy" gets restoration help.

Major progress in effort to protect CA giant sequoias from megafires

play audio
Play

Thursday, March 28, 2024   

Crews have been ramping up wildfire resilience projects to thin out brush and dead wood in California's giant sequoia groves, clearing twice as many acres in 2023 compared with 2022.

The Giant Sequoia Lands Coalition is trying to avoid a repeat of the disastrous mega-fires of 2020 and 2021 - which killed about 20% of large mature trees in their native Sierra Nevada range.

Joanna Nelson, Ph.D. is the director of science and conservation planning with the nonprofit Save the Redwoods League.

"We remove fuel," said Nelson, "we get to a safe place to do prescribed burning and to do cultural burning - which is always led by Indigenous people, which is another practice of taking care of the forest and reducing wildfire risk."

Sequoia National Park is just one part of California's giant sequoia groves, which stretch over 26,000 acres.

A new report shows that in 2023, the program treated nearly 9,900 acres in 28 groves - and more than 14,000 since 2021.

Crews have also planted 542,000 native tree seedlings in severely burned areas over the past two years.

Nelson said the groves must be re-treated about every 8 to 10 years.

"The cost of inaction is loss of giant sequoias in their native range," said Nelson. "And big fires that spread because of the fuel continuity. We risk further loss of trees that are anywhere from 1,000 to 3,000 years old if we do nothing."

The groves have built up quite a bit of dead wood fuel because, until the last few decades, it had been national policy to suppress almost all fire - which led to intense firestorms that incinerated entire groves of old-growth trees.

It is now understood that judicious use of fire can clear out the understory and be beneficial to the forest.



Disclosure: Save the Redwoods League contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Endangered Species & Wildlife, Environment, Public Lands/Wilderness. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
more stories
About 7.4 million adults take insulin, a hormone regulating glucose and used to treat diabetes patients. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

play sound

More than 1 million people in North Carolina are diabetic and they have become increasingly worried about the national shortage of insulin. The …


Environment

play sound

Missouri homes and businesses have installed enough solar energy to power 68,000 homes each year. A new report released by the Solar Energy …

Social Issues

play sound

Workforce watchers project the country could face critical worker shortages in many of the skilled trades in coming years. The Nebraska Winnebago …


If power grid operators cannot change the interconnection process in time, data show around 80% of the emissions reductions expected from the Inflation Reduction Act might not happen. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

A new rule from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission could improve Virginia's electric grid transmission capacity. It requires utilities and …

Social Issues

play sound

Surrounded by states banning nearly all abortions, its legalization in New Mexico has made the state a top place to travel for the procedure and a …

As we near summer, tens of millions of Americans will take to our nation's waters to spend time with family and friends. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

Hoosiers are launching their boats to enjoy another season on the water. However, before jumping aboard, now is an ideal time to review safety plans …

Social Issues

play sound

This week, Ohio approved adult-use marijuana sales as part of a 2023 ballot measure, with sales anticipated to start mid-June. Ohioans age 21 and …

Social Issues

play sound

The Nevada state primary is coming up June 11 and one voting-rights group wants to make sure all Nevadans have the information they need to make their…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021