When the first white explorers moved across the great American West, they found fertile prairies and huge stretches of massive old growth forests. And in Oregon those forests were seemingly endless as they were thick with trees – big trees – trees so large that that one section today would hardly fit between the trailers of a modern day logging truck.
Those days and those trees are gone. But contemporary forestry researchers are figuring out how those trees got to be so big and so unfazed by fire. The answer lies in their discovery that fire and Mother Nature got along quite well – fire had found its own rightful place in the ecology of forests.
Determining exactly what that rightful place looks and acts like is the perpetual quest of forestry researchers at Oregon State University. And they haven’t found Smoky Bear anywhere in it.
Here’s a quick video from OSU: