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Building Wildfire Resilience in the West: Why Western forests are burning catastrophically | Session 2

When: 
Tuesday, July 14, 2020
12:30pm - 2:00pm PDT
Where: 
Zoom Webinar
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About this series

Western landscapes have always burned and always will. The more we suppress fire and change the climate, the more catastrophic wildfires become. How can we make communities and wild lands more resilient in the age of megafire?

Learn More About the Series >>>

 

About the Session

Wildfire has long shaped California and Western ecosystems, with historic cultural fire and naturally-ignited fire burning at low-intensity through landscapes at least once every 30 years. Land management practices and fire suppression, plus increasing populations at the wild-urban interface, have caused a significant increase in catastrophic wildfire frequency and severity over recent decades. If we stay the course, CA and other western landscapes will lose the vast majority of their forests to climate change and megafire with profound impacts to public health, economies, biodiversity, and water. Solutions are plentiful but have lacked the attention and investment needed to adequately scale them in time.

 

Session objectives

This session focuses on why “normal” fire has become “megafire," what the future looks like, and what’s at stake.  

  • Gain a shared understanding of how land use, land management, energy policy, and climate change have created the era of megafire
  • Learn about the role Native Americans played in landscape resilience in the past and how they are shaping a “culture of fire” for the future
  • Illuminate opportunities, including policy interventions and carbon and water markets, to speed and scale community and forest resilience solutions

 

Speakers

Dr. Kimi Barrett

Research and Policy Analyst, Headwaters Economics 

Kimi leads the team’s research in wildfire and other natural hazards and is the Program Coordinator for the Community Planning Assistance for Wildfire program. Kimi holds a Master’s degree in Geography from Montana State University and a Ph.D. in Forestry from University of Montana. In 2020, Kimi testified on wildfires and vulnerable populations to a forum before the House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands.  She’s also contributed to the publications on land use planning and reduction of wildfire risk, federal wildfire policy and the legacy of suppression, and preparing for wildfire during a pandemic. Kimi leads the team’s research in wildfire and other natural hazards and is the Program Coordinator for the Community Planning Assistance for Wildfire program. Kimi holds a Master’s degree in Geography from Montana State University and a Ph.D. in Forestry from University of Montana. In 2020, Kimi testified on wildfires and vulnerable populations to a forum before the House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands.  She’s also contributed to the publications on land use planning and reduction of wildfire risk, federal wildfire policy and the legacy of suppression, and preparing for wildfire during a pandemic. 

Helge Eng

Deputy Director, Resource Management, CALFIRE

Helge has over 25 years of forestry experience, including working in other countries as a forestry consultant. In 1992 Helge started his CAL FIRE career as a timber supply analyst at the Fire and Resources Assessment Program. He promoted in 1995 to Forester I then Forester II in 2002. From 2002-2005 he was responsible for forest inventories and harvest scheduling on the State Forests. In 2005, he promoted to Deputy Chief to become State Forest Program Manager. His most recent position was Assistant Deputy Director, Resource Protection and Improvement.

Michael Mann

Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science at Penn State, Department of Geosciences and the Earth & Environmental Systems Institute (EESI) 

Dr. Mann was a Lead Author on the Observed Climate Variability and Change chapter of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Third Scientific Assessment Report in 2001 and was organizing committee chair for the National Academy of Sciences Frontiers of Science in 2003. He has received a number of honors and awards including NOAA's outstanding publication award in 2002 and selection by Scientific American as one of the fifty leading visionaries in science and technology in 2002. He contributed, with other IPCC authors, to the award of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. He made Bloomberg News' list of fifty most influential people in 2013. Dr. Mann is author of more than 200 peer-reviewed and edited publications, numerous op-eds and commentaries, and four books including Dire Predictions: Understanding Climate ChangeThe Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front LinesThe Madhouse Effect: How Climate Change Denial is Threatening our Planet, Destroying Our Politics, and Driving Us Crazy and The Tantrum that Saved the World.

Margo Robbins

Cultural Fire Management Council Member, Yurok Tribe 

Margo Robbins is the co-founder and president of the Cultural Fire Management Council (CFMC).  She is one of the key planners and organizers of the Culture Burn Training Exchange (TREX) that takes place on the Yurok Reservation twice a year. She is also a co-lead and advisor for the Indigenous People's Burn Network. Margo is an enrolled member of the Yurok Tribe, she gathers and prepares traditional food and medicine, is a basket weaver and regalia maker. She is the Indian Education Director for the Klamath-Trinity Joint Unified School district.

Stephen Pyne

Emeritus Professor at Arizona State University; Wildland and Rural Fire Expert and Author  

Steve Pyne is an emeritus professor at Arizona State University. He has been at ASU since 1985. He has published 35 books, most of them dealing with fire, but others on Antarctica, the Grand Canyon, the Voyager mission, and with his oldest daughter, an inquiry into the Pleistocene. His fire histories include surveys of America, Australia, Canada, Europe (including Russia), and the Earth. The Ice: A Journey to Antarctica was named by the New York Times to its 10 best books for 1987. Fire in America: A Cultural History of Wildland and Rural Fire won the Forest History Society's best book award. He has twice been awarded NEH Fellowships, twice been a fellow at the National Humanities Center, enjoyed a summer Fulbright Fellowship to Sweden, and has received a MacArthur Fellowship (1988-1993). In 1995 he received the Robert Kirsch Award from the Los Angeles Times for body-of-work contribution to American letters.

Moderator

Allison Wolff

CEO, Vibrant Plant

Allison’s expertise is strategy and narrative development, and building brand and product experiences. After overseeing the development of the Netflix brand and digital experience she advised corporate and nonprofit leadership teams on vision, strategy, and social and environmental innovation. Clients have included Google, eBay, Facebook, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Omidyar Network, Patagonia, Nike, HP, Drawdown, Conservation International, and GlobalGiving. After digging deep on the impacts of climate change and megafire on California’s forests, she is now leveraging her skills, network, and commitment to develop solutions for forest and landscape resilience and carbon drawdown.

 

Other events in this series

  • Session 1: The Convergence of COVID-19 and Wildfire Register > 
  • Session 3: Addressing wildfire where it intersects with other key social issues Register >
  • Session 4: Catastrophic wildfire, water, and climate change Register >
  • Session 5: Catastrophic wildfire impacts on public Register >
  • Session 6: The economic opportunity in building wildfire resilience in the West Register >

 

Presented in partnership with:


 

 


Fee
No cost to participate

Who May Attend
Current SCG, NCG, and SDG members and eligible non-members

Registration
SCG members: Register online (you must log in to your SCG account to register).
NCG & SDG members: Please contact [email protected] to register.
Non-members: Register online. If you do not have an SCG account, contact us.
If you have additional questions regarding these sessions, please contact us at [email protected]

Accommodations for People with Disabilities
If you have a disability and require accommodation in order to fully participate in this activity, please contact our programs team at [email protected] or (213) 680-8866. You will be contacted by someone from our staff to discuss your specific needs.

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