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Forces shaping Kaweah Oaks being addressed by forest plan

November 15, 2016 by Diane

Kaweah Oaks Preserve has been dealt quite a hand, with our region's five-year drought, a drastically dropping water table, effects of long-term climate change, and more than half a century of restricted waterway flows following creation of the Terminus Dam at Lake Kaweah. With a new presidential administration promising to roll back everything from the Endangered Species Act to climate change advances, times just grew even more uncertain with regard to environmental policy and funding concerns.
But what might be surprising to Kaweah Oaks' many passers-by on Hwy. 198 who observe the preserve's west end extensive tree mortality is that a considerable effort by Sequoia Riverlands Trust is underway to ameliorate the symptoms of the quadruple threat described above. There is hope.
According to SRT Director of Stewardship Ann Huber, a new forest management plan is in the works for the preserve, along with other innovative projects such as a scientific study on the effects and benefits of carbon farming. In addition to guiding future practices, the forest management plan will meet CalFire's requirements for SRT's recently-awarded grant for dead tree removal at Kaweah Oaks.
"The forces that have arrayed against Central California's natural world are numerous, and are greater than we can stop. But what we can do is help ease the transition to the new conditions we are witnessing all around," Huber said. "It won't be the same in the future, but we want Kaweah Oaks Preserve's thousands of visitors and appreciators to know that we will be working diligently and doing all we can to address the situation."

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