California’s forests are in crisis. A lethal combination of drought, wildfires, warmer temperatures and pests has destroyed 66 million trees in the past six years.
Restoring our forests won’t be easy. Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature recognized the importance and magnitude of the task by allocating $40 million in cap-and-trade funds. At the same time, President Barack Obama visited Lake Tahoe to announce $29.5 million to improve forest health and decrease the threat of catastrophic wildfires.
They’re prioritizing these investments because they know that California’s forests are critical to our water supply. Forests help reduce erosion and recharge aquifers.
Government funding is vital, but it’s not enough. We need innovative thinking and support from private partners with resources and expertise, such as a recently launched effort in the Sierra Nevada, one of the most important sources of water for drought-stricken California.
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