Restoration Policy and Finance in the Era of Megafires
Experts from Blue Forest Conservation, the U.S. Forest Service, The Nature Conservancy and World Resources Institute to discuss how to end the era of megafires through financing forest restoration.
This summer, wildfires raged across the U.S. West, from Seattle to Oregon to Los Angeles. In 2017 alone, over 8.5 million acres of the country’s forests have been scorched – making 2017 a notably severe year for fires.
Over the past decade, the number of severe wildfires has been steadily increasing, driven by unnaturally high forest density and climate change. “Megafires,” wildfires that scorch over 100,000 acres, are especially dangerous. Not only are these record-breaking fires costly to put out, they also pose huge threats to water supply, wildlife, infrastructure, and communities that last long after the fire is extinguished.
Understanding megafires is the first step towards addressing them. That’s why Dr. Paul Hessburg, a research landscape ecologist with Pacific Northwest Research Station, partnered with North 40 Productions and the Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center to produce a presentation that explains the dangers of megafires – and outlines a better way forward.
At this event, Dr. Hessburg will give his compelling presentation, “The Era of Megafires.” Afterwards, a panel of restoration and finance experts and practitioners will explain how better restoration finance and policy can lead to less severe fires in the future. They’ll highlight innovative solutions such as the Forest Resilience Bond – a new tool that allows the private sector to proactively funding forest restoration.
Opening Remarks: Dr. Andrew Steer, President and CEO, World Resources Institute
Keynote Presentation: Dr. Paul Hessburg, Research Landscape Ecologist, U.S. Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station
Moderator: Todd Gartner, Manager: Natural Infrastructure for Water, World Resources Institute
Shawna Lagarza, Director, Fire and Aviation Management, USDA Forest Service
Dr. Chris Topik, Director, Restoring America’s Forests, The Nature Conservancy
Kenton Brine, President, NW Insurance Council
Zach Knight, Managing Partner, Blue Forest Conservation