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Surveying for Survivors


Cara J
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Santa Rosa, California is well known for vineyards, arts and culture. But the locals know that one of the many benefits the city has to offer is outdoor recreation. Trione-Annadel State Park is among the area’s most popular parks, with 5,500 acres of rolling hills, streams, meadows and woodlands. The Ledson Marsh area of the park started out as a reservoir to water eucalyptus trees, but it is now home to cattails, tules, native grasses, and a variety of critters, including salamanders, snakes, lizards, rabbits, turtles, scorpions, and frogs. The marsh’s most prized species is the threatened California red-legged frog (Rana draytonii). In October 2017, the Nuns wildfire ripped through Ledson Marsh leaving charred vegetation and wildlife behind. While prescribed burns are an important land management tool that can benefit an ecosystem and provide a measure of safety for surrounding communities and firefighters, severe wildfires can damage soil, watersheds and water quality — affecting people and wildlife. Prescribed burns are controlled, researched and planned. They are slow-moving ground fires that allow area wildlife time to relocate. Although there could be loss of individuals, it does not negatively impact wildlife populations. Wildfires, on the other hand, are often so fast moving [...]

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