Correcting some misconceptions

In light of some of the commentary regarding the recent effort by the USFS to plant trees within the Station Fire scar, I wanted offer some information regarding the history and ecology of the Angeles National Forest.

Calling the Angeles National Forest (and especially that portion within the San Gabriel Mountains) a “Forest” is really a misnomer. The region is actually dominated by native shrublands, particularly chaparral. This is why we (the California Chaparral Institute) have proposed changing the name to the Angeles National Chaparral Recreation Area to better reflect what’s there and how the land is used. There are obviously lots of trees at higher elevations, but they really represent isolated “sky islands” of habitat that have been slowly reduced because of climate change over the past 14 million years. With the influence human activity on climate, this displacement has been accelerating over the past 100 years. The Station Fire, as unfortunate as it was, merely accelerated a change that has been occurring for a very long time.

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