We are hoping to RAKE THE FORESTS this summer!
No, haha, this is not a Trump joke. We really are going to rake the forest this summer. Of course it is naive to assume that simply raking a forest will prevent the horrific wildfires that sweep through the west each year, but raking in certain areas is a part of a bigger effort to help preserve a natural forest.
Before the European Conquest and genocide of native peoples, forests in the west kept a natural balance by the recurrence of lightning-strike fires or fires set by indigenous humans for the purpose of flushing out game. But over the last century or more, fire suppression efforts have allowed huge amounts of fuels and "fire ladders" to build up, thus causing abnormally large and often deadly conflagrations in our forests. Thus, efforts to reduce fuels are now necessary- efforts that include cutting out brush and dead or weakened trees, prescribed (AKA "control") burning and, yes, some raking. The raking aspect comes into play with helping preserve old growth trees by removing vegetation and leaf litter from the base of large legacy conifers. This is a small part of the job, but one that my wife and I are capable of helping with. We may be getting old but, dang it, we can still rake! We have applies to do some volunteer work and hopefully will be looking forward to the opportunity to do what ever we can to help this summer.
Only now (even though I highly doubt the man knew what he was talking about) I probably shouldn't make as many jokes like this anymore...
“Finding beauty in a broken world is creating beauty in the world we find.”
-Terry Tempest Williams
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