By Max Bennett, OSU Extension Forestry & Natural Resources Extension, Jackson & Josephine Counties
Terry Fairbanks is staff silviculturist for the Bureau of Land Management, Medford District, and a small woodland owner in the Applegate Valley. In this interview, I ask Terry for her thoughts on adapting to climate change in southern Oregon’s hot, dry, fire-prone forests.
Q: Terry, tell us about your background.
TF: I’ve been a forester for over 30 years. I started with the US Forest Service on the Mt Hood, and worked on the Willamette and Umpqua and made my way southward. I switched to the BLM 13 years ago. Most of my career I’ve been a silviculturist. I spent a little while as a timber supervisor. I’m responsible for reforestation, young stand management and I work with the prescription foresters. I also participate in planning efforts at the District level.
Q: What are some of your concerns about climate change in the Rogue Basin?
By Glenn Ahrens, OSU Forestry and Natural Resources Extension Agent – Clackamas, Marion, & Hood River Counties
Dying Douglas-fir trees have been a common sight in western Oregon in recent years due to drought-related problems, exacerbated by diseases and insects that attack stressed trees. History shows that periodic drought is to be expected in western Oregon and Douglas-fir forests are adapted to summer heat and drought to some extent. But extreme drought causes tree morality and raises concerns. In the news about climate change, there is a lot of talk about higher levels of heat and drought being the “new normal”. Is the recent drought “normal” or “abnormal” for western Oregon? Either way, how can we manage our forests to improve their resilience – their ability to withstand climatic extremes? Continue reading
By Paul Oester, OSU Forestry & Natural Resources Extension Agent – Union, Umatilla & Wallowa Counties
Resilience is a term that is bounced around a lot when discussing ways our forests can adapt to changing environments. But, what does it mean? Basically, it’s the capacity of a forest to withstand (absorb) a disturbance or external pressure and return, over time, to its pre-disturbance state1. We all would like our forests to be resilient in the face of natural disturbances such as fire, insects, disease and wind so they can keep providing us with clean water, wildlife habitat, beautiful vistas, grass for livestock and timber production. Continue reading