We sent today’s newsletter earlier without featuring our lead article, so we are sending it again. We apologize for the mistake.

There’s been little respite for California in this record-setting wildfires season, with more hot weather forecast this week. State agencies, scientists and conservation groups increasingly agree that California needs to vastly scale up forest restoration efforts – thinning trees and clearing decades of accumulated brush that fuels huge blazes.

But as University of California Merced engineers Roger Bales and Martha Conklin explain, that won’t be easy or cheap. These projects can cost up to $4,000 per acre, and California needs to treat as much as 10 million acres. Bales and Conklin see local partnerships and innovative financing as the best hopes for taking on this mammoth job.

Also today:

Jennifer Weeks

Environment + Energy Editor

A mixed-conifer forest in the central Sierra Nevada after restoration, with unthinned forest in the background. Roger Bales

Restoring California’s forests to reduce wildfire risks will take time, billions of dollars and a broad commitment

Roger Bales, University of California, Merced; Martha Conklin, University of California, Merced

Restoring western forests – thinning out small trees and dead wood – is an important strategy for reducing the risk of massive wildfires. But these projects aren't fast, easy or cheap.


Politics/Election '20

Economy + Business

Ethics + Religion


Arts + Culture

Science + Technology

  • Why males may have a worse response to COVID-19

    Meghan E. Rebuli, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

    A new study is the first to identify sex differences in inflammation and immune cell activation in response to SARS-CoV-2 infection, which causes COVID-19.

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