The headwaters of the Santa Ana River Watershed begin in the San Bernardino Mountains with forested areas receiving over 90% of the precipitation that we rely on downstream. Because of this, and the numerous other benefits to our ecosystem, the health of our forests is a very important natural resource for our agency to consider. Forest health can be defined differently depending on what you are managing the forest for, but generally speaking it is good to have forests with mixed species of trees and a diversity in age of trees.
There are many factors that can harm forest health including native and invasive pests, wildfire, diseases, and extreme weather events such as drought and large storms. Some of the ways to protect our forests include:
Monitoring forests for evidence of disease and infection
Managing fuel load to protect forests from large crown fires
Preventing the movement of firewood that can carry pests and diseases into our communities.
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