Fire and diversity in the Cedar Creek Fire area

Waldo Lake and the forests and trails all around it is one of my “happy places.” Every summer, I love to paddle and swim in the clear, deep blue water and pick huckleberries for camp breakfast. I’ve hiked through the young forest on the north side of the lake, recovering slowly from the Charlton Fire that severely burned the high-elevation area. And I included the Black Creek trail, leading from the west side of the Waldo Lake Wilderness through diverse forests to the edge of the lake, in my ancient forest hiking guide. 

Webcast: Hiking the Old-Growth Forests of the Cascades: 25 Years of Change

From the slopes of Mount Hood to the headwaters of the Willamette, old-growth forest trails in the Oregon Cascades offer some of the best hiking you can imagine. On this webcast, join John Cissel, an old-growth lover and forest researcher who hiked thousands of miles of these trails in the 1990s and published guide-maps and a book describing his favorite hikes in the Mount Hood and Willamette National Forests. Now, he's published a “3rd edition” of his guide online, with updates and reflections from 25 years of change in the forest and on the trails.

Wildfires, Forests, and Community Safety

Wildfires can destroy homes and induce fear, however they are vital for our forest ecosystems. Fire recycles nutrients back into the soil, provides habitat for insects and animals, and has many tree species that rely on it like lodgepole pines and oaks. 

Empowering youth in the woods

When Mark Bennett, the director of Global Works Community Fund, reached out to Oregon Wild about doing a hike or workshop with this year’s cohort of youth at first I thought “Yes, great! I love leading hikes!” My later thought was “Oh no! Teens!” I shouldn’t have been worried. Not only were these teens eager hikers, they also asked great questions and absorbed information about fire ecology, forests and climate change, and river and salmon health like sponges. 

Oregon finally passed a wildfire bill. But is it any good?

Oregon’s legislature has become increasingly dramatic in recent years. The last several sessions have featured high-profile walkouts by the Republican super-minority, which has stalled consideration of important business like climate change legislation and, in the early 2020 short session, preparation for the COVID-19 pandemic. The drama in Salem reached its climax with violent protestors breaching the State Capitol in December of 2020 at the apparent invitation of Rep. Mike Nearman, who opened the door for them.

Home is where the fire is

Our reaction to forest fire needs to be more nuanced than just: ”cut and replant.” Burns, it turns out, are actually an opportunity to regenerate a missing component of the spotted owl’s ancestral habitat. 

Webcast: Renewal in Our Burned Forests

Fire is elemental, fire is powerful, fire can and does destroy homes. But does fire destroy our forests? What happens when forests are allowed to regrow naturally?

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