Click the image above to watch a summary video of the After the Smoke Clears forum presentations by fire ecologists.As the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area continues to recover from the aftermath of the Eagle Creek fire, questions remain about the impacts and implications of this dramatic event on the health of the forests and surrounding wildlife.
In late 2017, over a dozen conservation and community groups came together to sponsor After the Smoke Clears, a series of educational public forums on how to best support the recovery of the Columbia Gorge. These forums were held in Portland (Nov. 13), Troutdale (Nov. 29), and Hood River (Nov. 30). All three forums featured insights from a collection of noted fire ecologists and leaders from local business, conservation, and recreation organizations. In conjunction with the Hood River forum, Friends of the Columbia Gorge also hosted a special Gorge fire ecology telebriefing for members of the press.
To extend the reach of these discussions, Friends has converted fire-ecologist presentations featured in the After the Smoke Clears forums, plus the Jerry Franklin telepresser into a series of YouTube videos:
- "If a Tree Burns in a Forest Does Anybody Hear?" by Dominick DellaSala, president and chief scientist, GEOS Institute. Nov. 15, 2017 (20 mins.)
- "Eagle Creek Fire: Past, Present and Future" by Lisa Ellsworth, assistant professor, Oregon State University's College of Agricultural Sciences Department of Fisheries and Wildlife. Nov. 29, 2017 (14 minutes)
- Eagle Creek fire forum telepresser by Jerry Franklin, professor of environmental and forest sciences, University of Washington's College of the Environment. Nov. 30, 2017 (17 minutes)
We hope these videos will help provide a better understanding of the complex relationship forest lands have with fire, as well as help all of us prepare for more wildfires in the future in a way that works with, instead of in opposition to, the natural ecosystems and mechanisms of the forests.
More About After the Smoke Clears
Within days after the Eagle Creek fire started, leaders from regional conservations groups gathered to discuss ways to keep public discourse about the fire focused and constructive. Co-sponsors for resulting the After the Smoke Clears forum series included:
- Audubon Society of Portland
- Crag Law Center
- Friends of the Columbia Gorge
- Oregon Wild
- Sierra Club
- Trailkeepers of Oregon