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Blue Dot #229: AFTER THE FIRES: A Hopeful Story Of Forest Ecology With Chad Hanson

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Reading Fire (2012) Burn Area -- Lassen Volcanic National Park Photo by Joan Pendleton

While the large fires such as Dixie (likely to become the largest in California history) and Caldor continue burning their way through the Northern Sierra and Southern Cascades, it's easy to feel like much beauty has been permanently lost.

But, according to Dave's guest, Dr. Chad Hanson from the John Muir Project, such is not necessarily the case. In an ultimately uplifting conversation sprinkled with practical, data-based advice, Dave and Chad talk about how nature's resiliency is baked into California's fire-prone landscapes.

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Chad Hanson in a regenerating forest after a fire.

Not all of the burn scar areas have had high-intensity fires (though some have) and there will be pockets of forest that survives while others will start to regenerate faster than one might imagine.

Dr. Hanson also talks about the need to harden communities that are in fire-prone areas like the Sierra Nevada foothills.

Dave Schlom is the longtime host and creator of Blue Dot. From surfing to Voyager in interstellar space, rock guitar to orcas in our imperiled oceans, the topics on Blue Dot are as varied as the host’s interests and connections -- which are pretty limitless! An internationally respected space history journalist, Dave is also deeply fascinated by all aspects of the grand workings of nature’s awesome machinery on scales ranging from galactic to subatomic. And topics take in all aspects of the arts and sciences.
Matt Fidler is a producer and sound designer with over 15 years’ experience producing nationally distributed public radio programs. He has worked for shows such as Freakonomics Radio, Selected Shorts, Studio 360, The New Yorker Radio Hour and The Takeaway. In 2017, Matt launched the language podcast Very Bad Words, hitting the #28 spot in the iTunes podcast charts.