Climate Change, Fire and Giant Sequoias

September 30, 2021
Two people talking in a forest

ESPM Assistant Cooperative Extension Specialist and Adjunct Associate Professor of Forestry Rob York appeared on a recent PBS News Hour segment on the impacts of fire and a warming, drying climate on giant sequoias.

While the trees do need some fire to release seeds from their cones, York comments that if California continues to have hot, dry spring seasons, forests won't have adequate soil moisture to support giant sequoia seedlings. He also discussed the potential for prescribed fire, and offered some hope for the species. "They're a strong species in many ways, and it gives me hope that they're going to persist under some pretty variable conditions in the future," he said. "But I know that they will need some help.

View the entire segment on the PBS News Hour website