The Forest Bridges plan addresses climate change by sequestering more carbon in the older moist forests. In the dry forests we will reduce catastrophic fires, which release large amounts of CO2, by thinning overstocked stands and introducing low level prescribed burns.
In dry forests, wildfires and large megafires, which contribute to climate change by quickly releasing carbon dioxide into the air, would be replaced by extensive thinning and prescribed fire. There would still be fires, but they would not be catastrophic. Prescribed fires are started and monitored by foresters sduring cooler seasons and weather conditions so that legacy trees, forest soils and adjacent lands will be better protected.
In wet forests, carbon is stored above ground in trees and below ground in downed wood, litter, the duff layer and forest soil. Carbon storage will be encouraged by the goal of 50% structurally complex forests.
If climate change leads to the drying out of formerly wet forests, the historically moist forest floor material will dry out and be subject to burning. Careful and continuous monitoring will ensure appropriate actions as the boundary between moist and dry forests shift through time.