Our days in the Illilouette Creek Basin began in early twilight, crawling out of a sleeping bag to start bird surveys. Mornings involved 3 to 4 miles of route-finding off trail through a gauntlet of fallen logs, thorny shrubs, steep slopes, and the otherwise unpredictable.
It was July 28, 2021, I was sitting in my living room overlooking Lake Almanor in the Northern Sierra Nevada, having spent the morning raking fir needles and covering attic vents, I was hunched over the air purifier sucking in as much fresh air as I could get. It was 3 weeks into the Dixie Fire, and the sky, much like what the San Francisco Bay Area experienced in the fall of 2020, had looked an eerie orange for weeks from wildfire smoke with little relief. I was alone, having sent my family out of harm’s way the week before.
Sierra meadows are a critically important component of the Sierra Nevada landscape. They provide multiple benefits. They contribute to carbon sequestration, groundwater recharge, flood attenuation, water quality improvements, and stream flow, improving the quality of life for downstream ecosystems and human communities. Meadows are also biodiversity hotspots that provide important habitat for birds, fish, amphibians,
A new study shows more diversity of Sierra forest habitat is needed around spotted owl reserves
Most of the aspen stands that dotted the Sierra Nevada less than a century ago are gone or in poor health. It may take aggressive mechanical treatment to restore them.
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