Restoring California’s forests to reduce wildfire risks will take time, billions of dollars and a broad commitment
There’s been little respite for California in this record-setting wildfires season, with more hot weather forecast this week. State agencies, scientists and conservation groups increasingly agree that California needs to vastly scale up forest restoration efforts – thinning trees and clearing decades of accumulated brush that fuels huge blazes.
But as University of California Merced engineers Roger Bales and Martha Conklin explain, that won’t be easy or cheap. These projects can cost up to $4,000 per acre, and California needs to treat as much as 10 million acres. Bales and Conklin see local partnerships and innovative financing as the best hopes for taking on this mammoth job.
Read the full op-ed by Roger Bales and Martha Conklin here.