Ponderosa Forests

Eric Brekke, BLM

Forest managers want to restore fire to northern Arizona’s ecosystems, and a tiny owl is a big player in that plan. For the first time, state biologists have designed an experiment to learn how the threatened Mexican Spotted Owl responds to prescribed burns. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports.


Michael Collier

Next time you pass a mature ponderosa pine, notice its broad plates of orange-red bark etched with black crevices. That thick, puzzle-shaped bark helps the tree survive moderate forest fires by protecting the inside of the trunk from overheating; severe fires though can kill even the thickest-barked trees.


Melissa Sevigny

Forests in northern Arizona have a problem: massive piles of wood chips left behind from thinning projects. They can’t stay in the forest because of the fire danger and there’s no local market for them. But they have to go somewhere. A new experiment is testing the idea of burning them along with coal to generate electricity. It’s not easy to do, but if contractors can sell wood chips to power plants, that could speed up forest restoration.


Melissa Sevigny

The Flagstaff Festival of Science begins today and this year the theme is “the science of change.” Two local artists have teamed up to create a musical experience about wildfire and climate change. Shawn Skabelund is a sculptor and Janice ChenJu Chiang is a pianist. Together they’ve planned a piano concert that takes place in a room transformed into a forest.


Salt River Project

Two students at Northern Arizona University have developed a first-of-its-kind methodology for calculating the carbon stored in forests. They want to use it to generate funds for restoration.


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