fly fisher 'til it's over
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Rogue River, State of Jefferson
I've been involved with recovery and reclaimation efforts following wildfires for many years, and although this situation seems lost, that's not necessarily the case.
If BLM can estimate the amount of seed required, get it tested for invasive species and purity, line up contracts with helicopters, and fly seed on immediately after control, great strides toward arresting soil erosion can be made. Seed will penetrate the ash, then it's just a waiting game for fall rains. With the proper seed mix, most of these canyons can actually be put in better forage conditions than before the burn for the benefit of bighorns, deer, and any livestock that are permitted, as well as improve soil stability. The longer it takes to fly on seed of preferred species, the greater the opportunity for annual grasses to re-establish, turning the canyons back into poor ecological condition.
Alder, ash, and willows can all be brought in and planted along the rivers edge to replace those trees burned. Maybe find organizations to champion some of these restoration efforts!
With proper planning and funding, the recovery time with intervention can be greatly reduced vs waiting for natural revegetation (which will favor recovery by annual, non-native grasses, forbs, and shrubs.)
Unfortunately for fishermen, it may also require closing portions of the river to allow for establishment of introduced species.
It's a double-edges sword for sure. I'll be interested to see what the final fire configuration looks like. It may not be as bad along the river as we're fearing.
Hoping for the best............
"No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it is not the same river, and he is not the same man".--Heraclitus