NAU Researchers Find Forest Treatments Have Long-lasting Effects

Published: Monday, June 14, 2021 - 5:29pm
Updated: Tuesday, June 15, 2021 - 8:45am
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Researchers have believed for decades that thinning trees can be healthy for the forest, but it was unclear how long the benefits of those treatments would last.

A group of researchers at Northern Arizona University recently studied the effects of thinning and burning in small areas throughout the state.

Their research shows that treatments might last for at least two decades.

The research has practical applications for forest management, said Michael Stoddard of NAU’s Ecological Restoration Institute.

"And so what was really surprising was just the shelf life of these treatments," Stoddard said. "You know, lasting 20-plus years. And that’s a great thing because that gives managers other opportunities to go into other acres, or areas, and apply other, different treatments.”

Forest thinning makes the likelihood of large catastrophic wildfires less likely.

Science Wildfires

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