Forests & Fire

Project Description

Through attendance at regional programs (presentations and workshops) and participation in field trips exploring local forest management strategies and tactics, the Forest and Fire team members have been learning who the local players are and what the currently preferred strategies and tactics are. The group has also been learning where the conflicts in recommended methods for achieving healthy resilient forests exist. The project team has been engaging with relevant agencies (Oregon Department of Forestry and Oregon Global Warming Commission) undertaking state efforts to develop a Climate Action Plan.

Project Leader

To join this project contact Gary Clarida


Increase the understanding of the public, elected legislators, and agency personnel about the complex interactions between forests and climate change and forest health and fire.  We seek to contribute to regional conversations about the forest management strategies that can best promote healthy resilient forests that promote carbon sequestration to reduce atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations and also mitigate Oregon’s greenhouse gas emissions from current forest management protocols.

Connection to SOCAN Mission

SOCAN’s mission is to promote understanding and awareness about the science of climate change, its causes and consequences, and encourage action to address the problem.  Contributing to regional discussions leading to effective management of our forests for their health and carbon sequestration capacity is entirely consistent with that mission.

Background Information

There exists a profound link between forest health and climate change.  On one hand, climate change influences forests by adjusting the critical conditions of temperature and precipitation that support forest systems and individual forest species. On the other hand, some of Oregon’s forests are among the most effective carbon sequestration ecosystems on the planet. Additionally, on the third hand, climatic conditions (particularly snowmelt date, soil moisture, and Spring and growing season temperatures) are among the most significant factors predicting a severe versus ‘normal’ wildfire year.