May 31, 2017 – The Inyo National Forest, the Sierra Forest Legacy, and the Sierra Nevada Conservancy are hosting a workshop to discuss restoring fire to the landscape, creating fire resilient communities, and best managing smoke for human health.
The workshop is scheduled for Wednesday, June 7; from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm; at the Mammoth Lakes U.S. Forest Service Welcome Center Auditorium, 2510 Hwy. 203, Mammoth Lakes, CA. The intent is to share information about the role of fire and smoke in the Sierra Nevada and to encourage a community dialogue that fosters the understanding that fire is a reality in California; including planned fires such as prescribed fires or unplanned lightning fires or human-caused fires.
The U.S. Forest Service, Region 5, has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with 25 other agencies and interested parties, including the Sierra Forest Legacy and the Sierra Nevada Conservancy, to “join in their shared knowledge, experience, networks, and vision for ecological resilience and sustainable, diverse forests in California, recognizing the ecological role of fire in these ecosystems.”
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A working group comprised of the MOU signatories has been formed and is committed to increasing the capacity to restore fire on the landscape through training, public engagement and education, and minimizing barriers related to smoke management and public perception. The group is focused on maximizing the positive role of fire and reducing unwanted risks – threats to communities, undesirable fire effects and smoke exposure. Recently released research indicates restoring fire to the landscape for ecosystem health is one of the best possible options to limiting smoke exposure for human health.
Representatives from the working group are planning a presentation to the Mono County Board of Supervisors earlier in the day. This meeting is as the county chambers in Bridgeport at 11:00 am (also available via teleconference). Please visit http://www.monocounty.ca.gov/bos/page/board-supervisors-meetings for more information. The evening workshop is also designed to further conversation on this important issue for our region.