Farmers and ranchers working to restore fire ravaged soil

The restoration work necessary to build back the use of pasture and farmland that was destroyed by a wildfire in the Gold Country foothills of Northern California last fall is brought to a human level in an article from the Food & Environment Reporting Network.

A total of 71,000 acres were scorched to the point that some soil was fired like a clay pot in a kiln to form a hard crust, but when winter rains arrived ashes and topsoil was flushed into rivers, which has left Calaveras County residents, both city and rural, to deal with extremely "compromised" water supplies and huge erosion issues.

The article "Dought, fire, and now healing in a California farm community" was written by Lisa Morehouse. She describes ranchers, vintners, beekeepers and olive farmers coming together to seed, spread straw, saw trees, build dams against soil movement and more. But the outlook for a good start on regrowth within four years is still about as much optimism as can be generated by residents.

Morehouse quoted Sean Kriletich, a farmer and beekeeper, describing his feeling about the wildfire's destruction. "To go from being so beautiful, so verdant, a place I've known my whole life, to see that destroyed and know it's not coming back in my lifetime, it's disgusting. And it hurts. It hurts a lot."

To read the article click here.


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