forest thinning

@crystaleagle via Flickr | Licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Increasing drought and tree mortality rates are causing forests in the American Southwest to die earlier and quicker –– which can add fuel to devastating wildfires.

But, new research shows that scientists might be able to predict where future wildfires burn by taking a look at a tree’s growth rings. 

Shaula Hedwall / US Forest Service

A judge has ruled that federal agencies have failed to monitor the threatened Mexican Spotted Owl population. The ruling stops prescribed burns and forest thinning in all of New Mexico’s National Forests to prevent accidental destruction of the owl’s habitat.