Nearly 1/3 of S. Sierra Forests Killed By Drought And Wildfire In Decade

"As climate change continues to transform California’s landscape in staggering and often irreversible ways, researchers have zeroed in on yet another casualty of the shift: the forests of the southern Sierra Nevada.

Between 2011 and 2020, wildfires, drought and bark beetle infestations contributed to the loss of nearly a third of all conifer forests in the lower half of the mountain range, according to a recent study published in the journal Ecological Applications. Eighty-five percent of the southern Sierra’s high-density mature forests either lost density or became non-forest vegetation.

The losses could have grave consequences for California wildlife, including protected species such as spotted owls and Pacific fishers that rely on mature tree canopies for their habitats. Researchers said the findings not only are another indication of the state’s shifting climate regime, but also offer new insights that could help guide forest management and conservation strategies."

Hayley Smith reports for the Los Angeles Times November 1, 2022.


"Climate Change Is Rapidly Accelerating In California, State Report Says" (Los Angeles Times)

Source: LA Times, 11/02/2022