Stephens talks California forestry health with NYT

California mountain forest range.

Recent aerial surveys of California forests found shocking results: the death of 36 million trees, including resilient firs, in 2021–22.

According to Scott Stephens, CITRIS researcher and UC Berkeley professor of fire science, policies such as fire suppression, in conjunction with drought and insects, have resulted in the overcrowding of California’s forests. To combat this, California needs to preventatively manage its forests by thinning out and clearing dead trees that could pose risks, he said.