Our take on Canadian wildfire smoke, plus climate champion, Albert Lalonde, and it’s Coral Triangle Day!
Our Take on Canadian Wildfire Smoke, Climate Champion–Albert Lalonde, Coral Triangle Day!
FIRST CLIMATE CHAMPIONS 10,000 TREES PLANTING UPDATE!
Hey, Everybody. Here’s the update we promised on the first Climate Champions, 10,000 tree reforestation campaign. The trees are going into the ground as part of the Fire Recovery in the Feather River Watershed project. The project aims to restore 4,343 acres of private land that was burned during the 2021 Dixie Fire. This restoration of this Sierra mixed conifer forest will focus on planting trees native to the area in pre fire conditions.
The Sierra Nevada is a region with a strong reliance on wildfire to maintain ecological balance. Wildfires will continue to be a part of this ecosystem. A century of suppression, and removal of indigenous burning has created conditions in which these fires become more severe than ever imagined. Restoring these lands to a state which is resilient to future fires and climate driven affects is possible given reforestation plans that address hazardous fuels, habitat, watershed protection, and a tree density that is sustainable and resilient to these conditions.
An analysis of how forests burns is this: The lowest severity burns in the project are classified as “moderate” with perhaps a 50% or higher tree mortality rate, the majority of the project is burned at high severity, where 90-100% of all trees have died. The project aims to address these issues in several ways; by removing the dead standing trees before they become a ecological hazard. Forests full of snags quickly grow an understory of brush due to increased sunlight; this snag and shrub component has been proven to increase both the intensity and severity of wildfire when occurring in the same area. This leads to a perpetual cycle of high severity wildfire in which healthy mature forests can never become reestablished.
With approximately 1.3 million acres of forests burned in the Feather River Watershed since 2020, we need to put our energy into reforesting areas with a higher likelihood of success. Planting within this project areas will be monitored and maintained by private land managers for a minimum of 75 years. This type of management will ensure that planted trees have the best likelihood of survival, and that plantations can be cultivated to ensure a well stocked forest at densities that are less likely to carry a high intensity crown fire.
Reforestation would prioritize planting shade intolerant species such as Jeffrey pine, ponderosa pine, sugar pine, Douglas fir, and incense cedar, over shade tolerant species such as white fir to re-establish forest structure prior to the exclusion of ecologically beneficial fire.
Trees would be planted at approximately 130 trees per acre in differing planting arrangements including rows and clusters. Areas with potential for natural regeneration may be excluded from planting. All planted areas would have dead vegetation, including standing dead trees removed to reduce the fuel risk for future wildfire.
Why does reforesting the Feather River Watershed matter to us? Restoration of biodiversity. Wildlife species to bring back include the California Spotted owl, Northern Goshawk, Bald eagle, and Golden eagle, all require either old growth forests, or mature trees for nesting and/ or foraging. The amount of suitable old growth habitat is currently severely diminished, vital for biodiversity. Several more megafires with no restorative action would leave the region devoid of habitat. Not often thought of but just as importantly, not replanting is already having impacts on water quality and erosion in the North Fork Feather River, including mudslides and rock fall which deposit sediment into one a California’s primary sources of drinking water. We’re loading photographs of the project on theclimate.org so check us out, daily.
Thank you to you first 33 climate champions who are helping us restore the Feather River Watershed in the Sierra Nevadas of California.
This is proof that a small group of people can make a massive impact in a short amount of time. So join us in this latest climate champions tree reforestation campaign. We’re at 9,000 trees. Just 1,000 to go. Go to www.theclimate.org and at the top of the page, click on Climate Champions and donate $50 or $100. Thank you!
CLIMATE CHAMPION, ALBERT LALONDE
Climate Champion, Albert Lalonde, is a passionate climate change activist, who started advocating for the reversal of the climate crisis as a student in Montreal. They are known for their work in organizing general assemblies of their peers with the goal of shutting their school down to bring attention to Quebec’s lack of action against greenhouse gas emissions. Lalonde was also named as a plaintiff in another lawsuit filed against the Canadian government criticizing Ottawa’s lack of action against climate change, La Rose et al. v. Her Majesty the Queen (now His Majesty the King)
LaLonde strongly believes the environment must be our number one priority and the Canadian government’s lack of action is violating young people’s rights to be young. After feeling climate anxiety from extreme weather in their home city of Montreal, he turned to activism as a way to work toward reversing the effects of climate change.
Despite the challenges that come with raising awareness about global warming and changing climate policy, especially as young people, young Canadians continue to be driven and dedicated to fighting climate change. These young changemakers should be an inspiration to us all, and their efforts to raise awareness and demand action on climate change do not go unnoticed.
Join the movement by supporting their efforts or by testing your climate change knowledge on a climate change quiz: uniteforchange.com.
HAPPY CORAL TRIANGLE DAY, 2023!
The first Coral Triangle Day was celebrated on June 9, 2012 in conjunction with World Oceans Day which is celebrated every year on June 8. Coral Triangle Day was established to celebrate and raise awareness of ocean conservation and protection, especially on the Coral Triangle, the world’s epicenter of marine biodiversity. The Coral Triangle is a geographical term that refers to a vast ocean expense located along the equator and the confluence of the Western Pacific and Indian Oceans. The region covers the exclusive economic zones of six countries: Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and East Timor (the “CT6” countries). It is considered as one of the three mega ecological complexes on Earth, together with the Congo Basin and the Amazon Rainforest.
There is a broad scientific consensus that the region represents the global epicenter of marine life abundance and diversity—with 76% of all known coral species, 37% of all known coral reef fish species, 53% of the world’s coral reefs, the greatest extent of mangrove forests in the world, and spawning and juvenile growth areas for the world’s largest tuna fishery.
Why does the Coral Triangle matter to us? Today, the coastal and marine ecosystems in the Coral Triangle are under significant and increasing threat by the warming, acidifying and rising seas. Coral reefs have experienced mass bleaching, which threaten to degrade the important ecosystems. Over half the coral reefs are at high risk primarily from coastal development, overfishing, and unsustainable fishing practices. Since the marine resources are a principal source of income for the population, the downstream effects of losing these critical coastal ecosystems are enormous.