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. Tree Farmer Alert

Monday, June 24,2013
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When fire risk soars with developments, can governments control the costs?

Tanya Shenk,
Davis Ranch Resident

This is a well balanced article - might be appropriate for sharing with others via the website or email? Tanya

Like the forests in much of the United States, and the West in particular, the WUI has become more fire-prone over the past several decades, a trend that is projected to increase with climate change (ClimateWire, June 18). Yet according to demographers, the rising danger has not deterred people from moving into the WUI in steady numbers.

Why should people be moving into fire-hazard zones at a time when the danger from fire has never been greater? Part of the reason is that the costs of protecting against fire are shouldered by state, local and federal agencies, rather than the homeowners who make the decision to move into the WUI, experts say.

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Colorado wildfire task force tackles building in burn zones

A Colorado task force on Monday got down to developing unprecedented limits for building homes in burn zones after the Black Forest fire raised concerns — again — that risks and costs are becoming too great.

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‘Watering the forest for the trees’

More than half of the U.S. water supply comes from forest lands where most precipitation falls, filters through soil, and, ultimately, becomes streamflow. Current research demonstrates that many of the growing threats facing forests, like wildfire and insect outbreaks, are linked to water stress from combinations of drought and a warming climate. Climate change is projected to increase forest water stress in many areas.

 Modeling revealed that substantial ponderosa pine mortality during the 2002-2003 drought might have been prevented by small increases in plant-available water via forest thinning, mulching to reduce evaporation from the soil, or irrigation.

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