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Castle Rock fire. Credit: U.S. Forest Service

The New York Times delves into the controversy surrounding wildfire policy, using the black-backed woodpecker’s plight as an example of the effects of fire suppression. “Scientists at the cutting edge of ecological research … argue that the century-old American practice of suppressing wildfires has been nothing less than a calamity.” But is the solution simple?

A single drought can take up to two years for a forest ecosystem to recover from, and scientists are now finding that if a second drought hits before that recovery finishes, it could spell doom for ecosystem. This has raised worries about our atmosphere, as forests are one of the largest carbon sinks — and dead trees means more CO2 in the air.

Researchers in Morgantown teamed up to calculate and understand the ecosystem benefits the urban forests in their state provide. By filtering pollutants, their trees contribute $59,749,507 of benefits to the economy every year! On top of that, they also represent $53,308,328 in stored carbon. Trees are amazing!

The plight of the Pacific fisher is calling to attention a friction between two groups normally not seen as opposed: cannabis enthusiasts and tree advocates. According to one scientist, federal forests in the “Emerald Triangle” have been contaminated by more than 700,000 pounds of solid fertilizer.

BioCarbon Engineering has “assembled a fleet of drones that can plant thousands of trees a day.” The engineers are first employing the fleet over in Myanmar, to try reforest an area that’s under threat from erosion, logging and agricultural deforestation. Early estimates suggest that the drones can plant trees 10 times more quickly than humans.