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Monday, September 18, 2023 7:00PM – 9:00PM

Caspar Community Center, 15051 Caspar Rd. Caspar, CA 95420

Ryan Klausch Presents

Using Fire and Fire Surrogates to Restore Habitat Heterogenity on the Sonoma Coast

The Sonoma-Mendocino Coast District of California State Parks has 62 miles of coastline, remnant old-growth forest, pygmy forests, Sargent cypress woodlands, intact coastal prairies, coastal pine forests, coastal dune systems, oak woodlands, and rhododendron groves. Over the approximately 45,000 acres, the District has been impacted by a legacy of fire exclusion, timber harvest, development, passively managed grazing, World War II era farming, illicit cannabis cultivation, military training, and non-native species. Fire suppression has been generally successful in preventing large, catastrophic wildfires in our park units. Unfortunately, most habitats and species in California are adapted to fire in some capacity. Fire exclusion reduces habitat and spatial heterogeneity and in turn reduces resilience to future disturbance events. Ryan will introduce California State Park’s Wildfire and Forest Resilience Program and discuss strategies for reintroducing fire into some of the most beloved parks in the state of California.

Ryan Klausch is an Environmental Scientist and the Wildfire and Forest Resilience Program lead for the Sonoma-Mendocino Coast District of California State Parks. Ryan graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Wisconsin, where he developed his foundation in natural resource management. His first prescribed burn took place with the U.S. Navy in longleaf pine forests for the benefit of gopher tortoise habitat. As a resource advisor on large, catastrophic wildfires, he witnessed the impacts of high intensity fire and collateral damage of our efforts to suppress fires and protect life and property. Ryan’s primary goal is to reintroduce fire to fire-adapted ecosystems while maximizing the benefits of natural disturbance and minimizing impacts to species-at-risk and nearby communities.

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