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Fire and Forest Ecology in the American West

By Dr. Chad Hanson and Dr. Monica Bond - Wild Earth Guardians, June 10, 2021

Natural fires are as essential as sun and rain in fire-adapted forests. But as humans encroach on wild spaces powerful, greedy forces are exploiting people’s fear and using myths and misinformation to deny fire its rightful place on the landscape. The peril that these myths pose to forests is profound—affecting whole forest ecosystems and the wildlife that depend on them. The mismanagement of these carbon dioxide-absorbing ecosystems also threatens humanity’s chance of overcoming the climate crisis.

During this WildEarth Webinar, which was recorded on June 9, 2021, our guests Dr. Chad Hanson and Dr. Monica Bond cut through years of misinformation and misdirection to make an impassioned, evidence-based argument for a new paradigm of fire and forest management.

Chad Hanson is a research ecologist and director of the John Muir Project of Earth Island Institute, located in Big Bear City, California. Dr. Hanson has a Ph.D. in ecology with a research focus on fire ecology in conifer forest ecosystems. He is the author of the 2021 book, Smokescreen: Debunking Wildfire Myths to Save Our Forests and Our Climate, and co-editor and co-author of the 2015 book, The Ecological Importance of Mixed-Severity Fires: Nature’s Phoenix.

Monica Bond, Ph.D., is a wildlife biologist and biodiversity advocate with the Wild Nature Institute and a research associate with the University of Zurich. She has published more than 45 peer-reviewed scientific journal articles and book chapters. Dr. Bond spent the past two decades studying spotted owls and served on the Dry Forest Landscapes Working Group for the Northern Spotted Owl Recovery Plan. She travels around the world researching and advocating for the conservation of imperiled wildlife and habitats.

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