Forests & Fire

Forests and Fire:  The Climate Conundrum

SOCAN’s October 2018 General Meeting. October 30th 2018, 6:00 – 7:30 pm Medford Public Library. 

To many Rogue and Applegate Valley residents, smoke has been the bane of the 2018 summer.  To many Southern Oregonians, wildfire risk has been equally or more threatening.  While there has been an abundance of opinion in the local media about the topic, beyond passing mention, little serious discussion of the climate connection has been offered.

The 70 – 80-year human life span imposes on us a limited sense of history; the result is blinders concealing what happened before. Long-time residents therefore tend to think that the over-arching trend is one of increasing fire risk, even though this is a relatively recent phenomenon.  Prior to fire suppression in the early – mid 1900s, the fire return interval was shorter than today, while fires burned more acres and more biomass. We will explore the evidence suggesting that climate change is a powerful driving force behind the increasing fire risk we have been experiencing in Southern Oregon and will discuss how global warming is threatening the composition of our forests as critical species are compromised by the climate we now enjoy and will probably experience in the future.

Since little attention is usually paid to the carbon balance of our forests and the role of forests in sequestering and storing carbon, we will explore what the evidence tells us about carbon storage in our forests and how effective they can be at mitigating climate change by storing carbon versus how destructive they can be if the carbon flux is ignored.

The program will feature SOCAN co-facilitator Dr. Alan Journet, and Special Guest KS Wild Executive Director Joseph Vaile who will offer insights from the recent KSWild report: “Your Climate Refuge: hotter, drier, no less wild.” Of that report, Vaile notes: “We recently looked at all the research on how to best adapt our forests to climate change. We know what we likely need to stay focused on to help prepare for the changes that we are already experiencing.”


The Pam Marsh Fire and Smoke Summit

September 15 2018, 9:30 am- 12:30 pm.

The video is broken into four segments, one for each Panel:

Forest Management:
Health Implications:
Economic Resilience:
Climate Mitigation & Adaptation:

The entire program:

Dogwood Alliance Stand4Forests Platform

In recognition of the important role that healthy forests can play in addressing climate change by sequestering carbon, the SOCAN Board has endorsed this platform.  We invite other organizations to do the same – possible from the linked website.

Rogue Basin Climate Trends and Projections

Rogue Basin Climate Trends and Projections  A two page summary of trends and projections for the Rogue Basin

A-Rogue-Valley-Climate-Summary  An expanded discussion of the climate trends and projections and their consequences for the Rogue Basin (Draft Version)


SOCAN Comments on the DEQ-ODF Smoke Rulemaking Proposal Comments submitted in response to the proposal to adjust rules to allow prescribed fire during the non-fire season.

Southern Oregon Forestry Thoughts Some thoughts on Southern Oregon forest management by Alan Journet –  Updated September 2018.

The forest for the trees: Global warming is here now, a column by Alan Journet in The Spring 2018 issue of The Applegater

Rogue Forests for Future Workshop Report

Rogue Basin Cohesive Forest Management Plan

National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy

Climate Change Adaptation

Wyden OC Plan Comments  (2014) SOCAN comments on Senator Wyden’s O&C Land Trust Act of 2013 relating to carbon storage.

Schoennagel T, Morgan P, Balch J, Dennison P, Harvey B, Hutto R, Krawchuk M, Moritz M, Rasker R, Whitlock C 2016 Insights from wildfire science: A resource for fire policy discussions. 9pp.

Interview with Terry  Fairbanks,  Medford BLM Climate Change Adaptation in Klamath-Siskiyou Forests: An Interview with Terry Fairbanks

Hotter, Drier, No Less Wild K S Wild 2018 Report on the impact of climate change on regional forests.

Op-ed submitted to Bend Bulletin on Congressman Greg Walden’s forestry proposals, August 2018


Law et al 2018 Land use strategies to mitigate climate change in carbon dense temperate forests

Fire Science Resources – KS Wild Blog

Is Global Warming Fueling Increased Wildfire Risks?  Union of Concerned Scientists

Understanding Wildfire in the Klamath-Siskiyou Useful comments from KSWild on SW forest management

Rogue Forests for the Future Presentations as pdf files

Alan rogue-basin-trends

Kerry kerry-metlen-climate_workshop_rbs-2016-11-15