When the rain started pouring down, I didn’t make any move to find cover. We had just returned from a sweltering, dusty, who-knows-how-many-miles-long hike through the Sierra Nevada mountains, so the brisk thunderstorm was a welcome surprise.
Our intern cohort (plus several advisors) had scaled slopes through a charred forest in search of the vast meadows we knew to be at just a slightly higher elevation. The forest had undergone a controlled burn in an attempt to protect and restore biodiversity—as fire clears long-dead organic matter, it creates room for new life to recycle those materials into their own success. As the burn flickers on, the older, larger trees continue thriving and supporting other life, from their roots to their canopies.Continue reading