Erosion and Sediment Control
Moving Beyond “Not Seeing the Forest For the Trees”
Extreme wildfires are nature’s response to a century of fire suppression in the nation’s forests, as well as changes in both climate and the cultural value placed on wild areas and how these wildlands regulate themselves.
As the perception of our national forests and grasslands migrates from solely timber resource economies to the value of recreational opportunities and ecosystem services, the necessity of wildfire cannot be overemphasized. Nature is not a steady-state system, but the services and opportunities it provides, such as fresh water mountain streams and trout fisheries, may be managed post-disturbance for quality. Current Best Management Practices may not recognize appropriate ecological timescales or drivers for ecosystem function; the ecological context of human response to natural disturbance within the built environment may not be appropriately internalized within management plans and emergency response. Investigations and case studies about the short- and long-term quality consequences and ecological significance of our human response to wildfire and its effects are herein presented.